April was a busy month for many reasons--most importantly because I was designated artist of the month at my kids' school- San Francisco Day School- where they have a fabulous art program, directed by the super talented and creative Karen Richards and held up by the also super talented artists- Brian Herrick, Rodney Ewing and Grady Gordon. Every month the kids from grades K-8 study a single artist and learn their methods, study their inspirations and then create using that artists medium and style. So, April was all about ceramics and me. The kids took on my 2 modalities-- sculpture and function--and truly created the most amazing plates as well as stacking sculptures in raku.
I had the pleasure of hanging out for one whole week at the school and worked with each grade to fire their sculptural rings outside using a converted electric now raku kiln--and the flames were a flyin'--much to the pure delight of the kids.
Man, did they love watching us wield those tongs and place the blistering hot pieces into the sawdust and BOOM! mini explosions...and then the wait for the result- scrubbing the smoke away to reveal the copper and crackle that lurked beneath--
The kindergartners were particularly funny- I heard them yelling my name out the window as I approached their classroom and then got to take their very enthusiastic questions which strayed quickly from ceramics to their pets, what they had for breakfast, who their favorite superhero is.....
"LISANEIMETH....LISANEIMETH"(all one word) they would stammer-- why do you like birds what is your bird's name my dog is named agnes I love her my brother is sick today when can I take my plate home...and on and on.
In the end, each grade created a plate to take home and use as well as a ring for the class totem which now grace all of the courtyards at school and are permanent sculptures at the school.
I couldn't have been more proud...