A Bucket of Water, a Slab of Clay, and Wow!

October 21, 2011 Mobius

Dinner and Art class at Shelburne Art Center

A big slab of clay can have quite an effect on a child, turning pre-teenage boredom to intense focus in a matter of seconds. The first Dinner and Art class at Shelburne Art Center may have sown the seeds for a group of up-and-coming ceramic artists.  At the very least, it gave them an evening of fun and creativity, and a real interest in coming back next month.


Teacher Rik Rolla knows how to command a child’s attention, and an adult’s for that matter. He got the group right in to the clay, allowing us to choose shapes for our plates, showing us options for creating texture, and teaching us to use slips (suspensions of clay particles in water with color pigment) to add colors. It was great fun! Young hands and older hands worked side by side, pressing clay against selected plate molds, smoothing with wet sponges, applying textures and slips.  After they got the hang of it, mentees went back for seconds, choosing to make additional smaller plates or mugs.

Rik has been teaching pottery classes for children and adults at Shelburne Art Center for four years. He knows that allowing kids to get in and get their hands dirty, learn to use the tools and equipment, and  “play,” gets them engaged. He was pleased the youngsters could come to the studio. “They all were very well behaved and very creative. It is a pleasure to have the opportunity to play with all of you.”

Next month, we will come back to find that Rik has fired the work in the kiln, glazed it, and fired it again.  We can’t wait to see the final products and to start working on luminaries (and learning to use the extruder).

Mentees’ and Mentors’ creations drying and awaiting the kiln.

Through the generosity of  the Shelburne Art Center, these special mentor-pair classes are free.   According to SAC Executive Director Sage Tucker-Ketcham, SAC has provided access to arts and crafts and a creative environment for people of all skill levels for more than 65 years.  “Mobius and the mentoring programs it serves are perfect partners for us to insure that our mission is being honored. With a generous scholarship donation we are able to provide an instructor and space for these creative mentor pairs.  We are pleased, excited, and honored to have mentors and mentees here to share the joy of creating.”

If you and your mentee would like to come create with us, please join us next time, November 21 at 5:30.  Please RSVP Here.