Walpole Public Schools 5th Grade Tile Project

Finished tiles from the Elm Street School, 2020

For 12 years now, Potters Place potters have been visiting 5th grade classrooms in many of the Walpole Public Schools, thanks to member Susan Brum and other members. Working with the art teachers, Potters Place potters instruct multifaceted lessons with clay to develop students’ critical-thinking skills, creative confidence, hands-on skills, visual literacy, and self esteem. Using clay as their medium, students learn how to create three dimensional tiles from their two dimensional artwork. They add and subtract clay to create their tile, and normally would add detail with colorful glazes. Tiles are completed in the Potters Place kilns and returned to school for display. This year the process was a little different due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here is a message from Susan Brum about this year’s tiles:

“Today (Friday, June 19, 2020) with many thanks to Lizanne Donegan & Joyce Lauro we glazed the Elm Street School 5th grade tiles. Elm Street School in Walpole had already closed and the 5th grade class was not able to paint their tiles. The mothers of the 5th graders usually come to Potters Place and volunteer their time to help glaze the tiles but today it was my pottery friends that helped me with this task. Even though the tiles are only being glazed to make them shiny there were many comments from all of us about the creativity. The only color that will be on these tiles is the year date (2020) and the last tile saying ‘Reflections’ Potters Place. It has been 12 years since starting this project with Elm Street’s art teacher, Joanne Robbins. So ‘Reflections’ for me expresses the years gone by and going forward. The non-painted tiles are a reflection of this year.
I thank all of the 5th grade classes In Walpole, the teachers & the principals for allowing me to come to their schools and help them leave their mark behind. Lastly, I did not do this alone. I had many of the Potters Place potters help me accomplish this task. Thank you all.”

Potters Place, a not for profit pottery school and cooperative studio, has a mission statement that includes sharing their love of clay with surrounding communities. Working with the Walpole Public Schools, students, teachers and artists are impacted by the knowledge shared collaboratively.

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