A Student’s Story about Problem Solving

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I wanted to take a moment to brag on one of my ceramic students.  Lately I’ve been talking so much about my art 1 and art 2 classes and how their immersion into TAB has been off the chain.  I feel like I’ve been neglecting my other classes…my ceramic classes.  They do make up half of my class load after all, they should not be looked over.

It has been slow going in the beginning classes as we were waiting for clay and slabs are getting to a working state that isn’t so floppy.  (I have to say I can’t wait until we are past the first project so kids have more than one thing to work on.)

My intermediate/advanced class is creating enlarged organic objects.  I asked them to bring in an organic object, but of course, only one student did.  Luckily I predicted this and found a ton of things for them.  One of the objects was the flower pod from the cactuses here in Texas.  Paul chose that object.

It started out fresh and bulbous and he jumped right in building it 5 times as big.  It was going to be an awesome piece.  However, over the course of the time we’ve been working, the pod began to shrivel as the moisture left.  Neither of us thought of this possibility.  As Paul was close to finishing, I told him if he wanted to just pretend the piece hadn’t shriveled, I was cool with that.  He said ok.

I went about my business and towards the end of class came back to Paul and saw that he had incorporated the shrivels.  His piece looked way more awesome than it did before.  There is now so much more life to his sculpture.  I am so proud of him.  This is his best work to date.  I love that he encountered a problem and instead of getting mad, he ran with it and brought his work to another level.

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