Rollercoaster Art Emotions

Today was a rollercoaster of a teaching day in the art room. I began the morning frustrated and grumpy, unsure of whether I wanted to cry or start yelling.
My sixth graders made really beautiful textured slab vases last period yesterday and when I walked in this morning over half of them were broken! It is so extremely dry here in the winter and that, combined with the cold temperatures in my room at night, was just too much for the clay to handle. Their slipped and scored edges stayed perfectly together while other areas of the vases split completely! Suuuper frustrating!

Broken Slab Pots
Broken Slab Pots

To top that, I also had the stress of running out of clay this week after finding out that my clay order from last week is currently back-ordered and still won’t arrive for another week! With two sixth grade clay projects planned, a shelf full of broken vases, and three sections of Ceramics, no clay is not an option around here. By the end of my first period Ceramics class, I was pretty stressed out and unsure about what to do with my current wheel throwing unit.

Luckily, the elementary art teacher here had several extra bags that she graciously let me use. I was pretty close to crying tears of joy when she emailed to let me know. So for now I have four bags of clay and 30 on the way next week. I was also able to put in an order for humidifiers to try to alleviate my clay crackage. I’m hoping I actually get them and that they don’t take too long to get here!

Already feeling much better, I ended my day with 8th graders. They tend to put me in a good mood anyway because I have a great group of kids, but the amazing work they are doing right now put my mood over the top. They just started the half-portrait project that I love and so far I have been nothing but stunned at what they are creating. Here are a few works in progress…


There are plenty of things that are out of my control when it comes to Art, teaching, and living in a foreign country, but the amazing work my students create can always make me feel better.

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