Sunday, April 19, 2015

A Week With Tom Dykas!

Ceramic artist and potter, Tom Dykas spent a week at Captain School! He gave a wonderful lesson combining two kinds of clay, using molds and under-glazes. Every student made a ceramic vessel.  We thank our generous PTO for making this experience happen! We thank Tom Dykas for sharing his talents and warm heart!


Here is a visual recap of the week!

"I am a potter, I make them out of clay." I am a ceramic artist. I can make a bowl out of clay, but it becomes a different material when it is fired in the is then ceramic." 

Tom  demonstrates how to make little slabs and coils. He drapes them over a mold creating a design. Students had to figure out how to use their red and white clay in layers. Which layer goes first, which part will show, what considerations need to be made when making letters?


They learned how a slab roller worked





 Tom showed them how to apply under-glazes

 Our student teacher, Becky Obenhaus was helpful to students




 Mr. Dykas always had words of encouragement, he always told us how he works as an artist. 

"I need to just let things  happen to get new ideas." 
"I am interested in what you make today." 
"To be a real artist, take a skill you know and apply it to the best of your ability with a sense of play."
"Clay will not always do what we want it to do...we have to expect that and accept that."
 "Don't work the edges thin or they will be sharp and breaky."
"Ponder with your fingers."
"I cannot spend too much time chit chatting when I make my will dry out and be much less useful when it dries out and cracks."


Students enjoyed looking and feeling Tom's work. He talked about high contrast and low contrast.

 The pots were dried so that they could be put into the kiln for their first firing. Mom's cookies are baked at 350 degrees but our pots are fired to almost 2000 degrees!

 After the bisque firing the bottoms are painted with wax so that the pots will  not stick to the shelves of the kiln in the glaze firing.

Students were very focused!

They had the option of using texture tools to help create their design

Our creations are getting ready for their final takes a while to create, under-glaze, dry, fire, glaze and fire again! We will show our final work soon!

Questions that were asked and answered:

What is a...
slab, coil, vessel,positive space, negative space, pattern, concave, convex


Things Tom talked about:

what is clay?
where does it come from? 
how is clay different from ceramic? 
what is contrast? 
how do we use these tools?
how do we come up with a design? 
what happens to the clay after we have created our design?
show your ability to make decisions and see them through
what is function?
it is easy to judge ourselves, to declare ourselves not good...don't do that!
give ourselves time to think about what we did and share our ideas with others

  Bye Bye Mr. Dykas...Thanks so much!!