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Collection of the kids work from summer camp

 I didn’t set out initially to teach clay camp. It began in the summer of 2013 when I was asked to substitute for a few classes. The following year I was back running the clay camp at Montlake Community Center full time for most of the summer. So far it has been six fun, hot, challenging & creative summers.

 

Each week I teach two 3.5 hour sessions in the morning and afternoon. Campers ranges in age from 5-12. Making clay art is a labor and time intensive process, and one of the most important parts of any camp is striking the right balance between learning and play.

 

        I’m lucky to have a great team of returning assistants and volunteers, whose help is indispensable. I structure the classes for the older students around a themed project. Since I often have returning campers I always make sure to have materials available for quite a few different themes. In addition to the themed projects I also devote a fair amount of time to free exploration of clay, which is one of my favorite parts of each class.

 

   I think that having unstructured time to play is an important part of the creative process. It is very satisfying to see the moment when skills and creativity coalesce. During this time I am able to help students individually who need assistance with technical skills or finding artistic inspiration.

 

     For the younger campers the projects center around learning basic foundational skills that they can build on. We try to keep it fun and educational while making sure that it remains accessible for all students. Every camper gets to use the pottery wheel, even the littlest camper who can’t yet reach the pedal. Playing games together is also an important part of clay camp, as it is after all summer.

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