Teaching Clay in the Classroom with Jeni Hansen Gard – Part 1

In Part 1 of Teaching Clay in the Classroom, artist and educator Jeni Hansen Gard provides a comprehensive guide to setting up a classroom for teaching ceramics at the K-12 level. Because many K-12 art teachers have to teach this complicated subject with little or no ceramics background, this presentation gives a thorough introduction to ... (Scroll for more.)

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… clay and glaze materials, equipment used in the ceramics studio, classroom safety, and more.

Learn how to:

  • Efficiently set up your classroom
  • Use & store materials safely
  • Use & maintain your equipment

Getting started: A go-to teachers’ guide!

Many K12 art teachers are thrust into the clay world with little or no experience with the material. Not only is this situation frustrating for the teacher, but it can even be dangerous. With this video, teachers will learn how to get started teaching ceramics in a safe, fun, efficient way. From the best ways to cut down on studio dust, to safe firing practices, Jeni covers it all.

Classroom setup:

  • Get helpful tips to set up your classroom efficiently and safely
  • Find out what tools you need and how to set up shelving
  • Learn how to maintain a dust-free environment and properly handle ceramic materials
  • Discover a smart way to keep clay out of the drain (and keep maintenance staff happy!)

Proper use of materials:

  • Learn about the stages of clay, from slip to bone dry, to glazed and fired
  • Get tips on how to keep projects workable from week to week
  • Figure out which glazes are best for your needs and learn how to safely mix them
  • Discover how to recycle clay and minimize waste (and materials’ expenses too!)

Proper use of equipment:

  • Find out about safety, maintenance, use and cleaning of the potter’s wheel, slab roller, extruder, and pug mill
  • Pick up great advice on cleaning kiln shelves, and mixing and applying kiln wash
  • Learn how to load and fire a bisque and glaze kiln
  • Discover how to avoid common firing problems
  • Gain an understanding of pyrometric cones and learn to make a cone pack

This informative video will help teachers bring clay into their classrooms in the most efficient and effective way so they can avoid frustration and spend more time helping their students make great work!

Look for Teaching Clay in the Classroom, Parts 2 and 3, in Spring and Summer 2018!

About the artist and educator

Jeni Hansen Gard grew up in Grand Haven, Michigan. She received her MFA in ceramics from The Ohio State University, MA in art education from the University of Florida, and BA in art education from Hope College. Jeni was the recipient of the 2015 MJ Wood–DO GOOD Residency at Red Lodge Clay Center and recently completed residencies at the Archie Bray Foundation and Denison University. She is a founding member of the Socially Engaged Craft Collective, a craft and social practice organization. Jeni and her husband, fellow ceramicist Forrest Sincoff Gard, run Gard Clay Studios. To learn more about Jeni Hansen Gard and see more images of her work, please visit www.jenihansengard.com.

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