New Wall Space Showcases 1st and 2nd Grade Ceramic Creations

By Susan Mann and Kim Witkowich, Grammar School art teachers

The 1st graders were the first class to proudly display their colorful pinch pots on a set of new shelves on the Grammar School Boulevard -- the hallway that runs from the Pre-K classrooms, past the Kindergarten cafeteria and to the elevators. This was possible due to a wonderful new addition of beautiful wooden shelving installed by Saki Hristidis, CGPS Maintenance Supervisor, and our wonderful maintenance department. Thanks to them, we are now able to display our younger students’ three-dimensional creations.

The pinch pots were exciting projects for the students to work on. The students formed the pots by making a small clay ball into which they drilled a hole with their thumbs. They then pinched and turned the clay until it transformed into a small pot. Some children crafted lids and handles as well. After the pots were fired in the kiln, the students used tempera paint to decorate them. 

The 2nd graders have also just completed a unit in ceramics. They learned about the slab technique, in which clay is rolled out, flattened and shaped into various forms. Using rubber leaves as their guide, the students cut the rolled-out slabs into different leaf varieties. They worked meticulously to draw leaf veins into their cut-outs, which were then pressed onto bowls to maintain their shape. When they were dry and leather-hard, the pieces were fired in the kiln. The children then learned about glazing, the process of adding color to ceramic work. A second firing turned the powdery stains into vivid, colorful glass, resulting in spectacular autumnal hues in various shades of gold, crimson and orange. These bowls are now on display in the 5 West 93rd Street building, adjacent to the Grammar School library. You won’t want to miss them!

We are grateful for a long awaited opportunity to display more three dimensional work from our talented Grammar School artists. These gallery spaces will be revolving throughout the year to showcase artwork from other grades. Stay tuned!