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Sharlene Cline Fireweed Academy, February/March 2021

Sharlene worked with the students at Big Fireweed for two weeks before Spring Break. She guided the students through a project designing and creating a ceramic bonsai pot. As part of the process, the students were introduced to a part of the Japanese culture in which bonsai trees are created. The old art form requires patience and a good eye for design and detail. The kids developed their skills in various ceramic techniques including scoring and slipping, adding textures to their clay and constructing hand built slab pots and glazing.

For Big Fireweed Jon Kulhanek and I taught Bonsai Ceramic Pots from February 22 – March 5. The project was first introduced with clips from masters describing the different elements of bonsai pots, followed by the students sketching their proposed pots, wedging clay, hand building with rolling pins and slats and the 3 S’s: Score, stick, slip. We also worked on texture and underglazes. You could visibly see stress shed from students as they wedged and played with their clay. One student shouted out “This is so much better than video games!”

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