Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Lesson idea: Organically-inspired sculpture ceramic tiles

This project idea is another one I did two years ago (only once) in 3D Design and haven't done since.  It was the final project/assessment and worked out beautifully despite all of the issues that came along with it. Inspiration for it came from Etsy when I stumbled upon the work of Element Clay Studio.

I loved how refined the work looked while still offering a terrific perspective of what texture might look like at a more macro level. It drew upon not just the beauty that real fine art has but also allowed the possibility for cross-curricular teaching since it could draw upon biology and earth sciences because the subject matter was meant to be completely organic.

 Each student was tasked with coming up with just one macro-view and there were plenty of starfish and lots of other aquatic representations. Another student did a beautiful texture inspired by the back of an alligator and a another one (who was very naturally gifted) did a fingerprint. Sorry I don't have closer pictures of these! I should have taken them at that level but they were a real challenge to hang and once they were up in the gallery (they showed BEAUTIFULLY!) I wasn't about to disturb them. Here is a picture to prove that...

I might try these again next year but perhaps go for ones that aren't 6x6" in size and maybe more 8x8". We'll see. Another thing that is hugely important is if I can fit this in the budget. The kind of clay I used was VERY expensive - can't remember if I used porcelain or not and have to check my ordering archives on that - but if I buy it at the top of the year, I might be able to avoid budget cuts if/when they happen.


  1. These are gorgeous- so fresh and contemporary. I love all the creative projects you have on your blog. Thanks for sharing!

  2. So glad you enjoyed this one. It was one of my favorites too but I've only done it this one time. Perhaps I'll give it another go next year if the 3D class is scheduled during the first semester! Have to do it that way alone because firing up the kiln in the art room is brutal unless it can also serve as an extra heat source when it's so chilly out.


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