Clay Conversations

robert archimbeau“Hello Robert!”  The six year old children I am taking on a tour at the Winnipeg Art Gallery greet the photo of eighty-six year old Robert Archambeau.  I tell them all the pottery they see in the room around them was made by Robert. conversations in clayWe go over to look at the name of the exhibit A Conversation in Clay.  I ask the children what a conversation is and they all know. I tell them we are going to have a clay conversation with a friend but first, we will practice how to do that together. We walk over to a group of teapots Robert has created and talk about them using a Clay Conversation guide I’ve made.  The kids contribute so many great ideas. ceramic teapotsThey each know which teapot they like best. They notice that some teapots’ surfaces look smooth like a marble and others look rough like sandpaper. They point out that one of the pots has a different handle than the rest. They love the rainbow colours on one and wonder if they could put hot chocolate in the pots. 

Then I send them off in pairs with a copy of the discussion guide to have conversations with a partner about the other pieces in the room. Later we get together so everyone can share what they talked about. robert archimbeau ceramicsThey tell me these pieces would be perfect for storing magic potions. pots archimbeauThe pair discussing these pots thinks one looks like a chocolate cake and the other like an apple. They say the containers could be used for cookie jars or cooking pots or for storing rice. bowls archimbeauThe children would eat soup or cereal from these bowls and they notice how each one is a different height and color and has a kind of foot or stand on the bottom. ceramics winnipeg art galleryI am told that one of these pieces looks like a honeycomb, another an acorn squash and still another has a design that reminds them of tree bark or snakeskin. salad platesThese plates each with a unique leaf design inside would be perfect for eating salad. clay pot childNow I give the grade one children clay and they fashion pieces of their own. child's clay potI love this tea cup with a happy face inside. flower potThis one is a flower vase. bagel potAnd this one reminds some of the kids of a poppy seed bagel. 

robert archimbeauAs we leave the gallery we go back to Robert’s photo to say good-bye.  His works of art have created lots of great conversations and provided inspiration for our own art. 

Other posts…………..

Stories in Stone

Portraits in Plasticene

A Head Trio

2 Comments

Filed under Art, Childhood, winnipeg art gallery

2 responses to “Clay Conversations

  1. E Kampen

    What a perfect way to have a “Conversation “, MaryLou. Very cool lesson plan. Love it!😀

    Like

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