Students from Caledonia Community Schools and Lowell Area Schools recently learned what it was like to fire pottery in an unconventional location: the school parking lot. Coincidentally, the districts performed the unique firing on the same day, using similar materials, without any knowledge of the other district’s project.
At Caledonia High School, students Charlie Janho and his fellow art students Zane Gorby, Tyler McEldowny and Jordan Steiner thought it would be fun to build a trash-can kiln, which they researched, designed and constructed on their own the previous trimester.
“When you fire pottery in an altered garbage can filled with sawdust and wire, you get some pretty amazing results,” said Charlie, who spearheaded the project.
Art teacher Mike Cornell said the department encourages creative risk-taking. View more pictures from the event.
Meanwhile in Lowell, fifth-grade students from Alto Elementary worked with resident artist Lee Bolt, an Alto Elementary parent and art educator, to fire up their own trash-bin treasures. The unit focused on making ceramics using a “slab” method, which involved rolling out the clay, similar to making cookies.
Student creations followed an arrowhead motif, a nod to the school’s mascot, the Red Arrows, and ties into the fifth-grade social studies unit on Native American tribal life. The finished pieces doubled as functional containers such as pencil holders and vases.