Teaching Clay in the Classroom with Jeni Hansen Gard – Part 2 Handbuilding

In Part 2 of Teaching Clay in the Classroom, ceramics educator Jeni Hansen Gard provides a thorough introduction to handbuilding processes for the K–12 level. Since many K–12 art teachers need to teach this complex subject with ... (Scroll for more.)


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Runtime: 2 hours 50 minutes

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… little or no ceramics background, this video is an excellent resource for becoming familiar with clay and planning clay lessons and projects.

You’ll learn:

  • All the skills needed to teach a variety of handbuilding techniques!
  • Pinching, coil building, slab construction, handle making and much more!
  • Tips for avoiding common pitfalls and helping your students succeed!

What Can You Make With Your Hands and a Few Tools?

Starting with the most basic of forming techniques, pinching, Jeni shows you what great things can be created with just the hands and a few tools. After creating a pinched sphere, she moves on to a coil built vase that you can keep small and simple for lower grades, or make it bigger and add shape for higher grades. Jeni also demonstrates a simple slab-built cylinder and a more-complex slab-built box.

Handles 101

Learn multiple ways to make and attach handles—from simple slabs to elegant pulled handles.

Simple Molds, Great Results

Hump and slump molds are great for the K–12 classroom because the learning curve is small, but the results can be beautiful. Plus, Jeni shows how to make sprig molds from found objects—a great way for students to add a personalized touch to their work!

This informative video will help teachers learn the techniques to effectively teach handbuilding, and help their students achieve successful results!

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.

Want more Teaching Clay in the Classroom? Check out Parts 1 and 3!

A must-watch guide for K-12 ceramics teachers!

Many K-12 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 also be dangerous. That’s why we partnered with ceramic artist and educator Jeni Hansen Gard to create a video series to help teachers bring clay into their classrooms in the best way possible! Teaching Clay in the Classroom is the first video of its kind and takes the guesswork out of setting up a teaching studio that is both efficient and safe!

Learn more!

Teaching Clay in the Classroom, Part 3, Wheel Throwing

In part 3, ceramics educator and artist Jeni Hansen Gard presents an in-depth overview of basic wheel-throwing techniques for the K-12 level. Jeni’s clear instruction is an invaluable tool for K-12 teachers, especially those who are new to teaching ceramics and wheel throwing. You'll learn how to throw and trim cylinders, tumblers, and bowls, plus how to reduce technical obstacles and help your students make great wheel thrown pots!

Learn more!

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