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Ceramics - A New Generation I: Article or Project

Planning for the Future of Ceramics

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Children are our future. Well, of course that goes without saying; but in this case, I???m talking ceramics. So many of us "old codgers" have pretty much gone out of business, probably because of retirement, health, or because of the bad economy the past 10 plus years. That, however, is another topic - back to the children.

Ceramics is making a comeback, but to make it, we all need to encourage the younger generation. How is that going to be possible when they are in up to their noses with technology & computers, I-phones, gaming, etc? It is going to be up to us oldsters to create the interest with the young folk. This can be done by example and by creating opportunity.

As I mentioned in my previous article, my grandson had expressed an interest in learning, which I seized upon and we had a great time as he learned to set-up and cast his first mold. Today we tackled the cleaning of greenware. Now my grandson, is really not the most patient kid, so I had to encourage him to not give up. But as we sat outside enjoying the beautiful weather, he watched closely as I showed him how to clean his greenware turtle. He carefully scraped the seams after cutting though the design work. He sanded and wet-brushed and did more scraping then showed me his work. Yes, he missed a bit and he had to go back and touch up-just like any beginner, but he did really well for his first effort. I could see he was really proud as he went back and cut his name and date on the bottom.

Yes, I still have images floating in my head as to possibilities that he will continue his interest in the field of ceramics, but back to earth we are just plain having a great time together. I am quite sure he will never forget this, his first real project, because I vividly remember my first time. I'd almost bet that each of you can draw from your own memory, when you discovered ceramics the first time.

And, besides sharing my personal experience; I encourage each of you to reach out and teach a child, or several children, to love this art form with the passion that we have experienced. If you have children in your extended family, offer them the opportunity. You can also reach out to church youth groups, neighborhood child care centers, boys and girls clubs, scout troops, YMCA, etc. etc. You can volunteer to teach or even charge small amounts to offer classes. Scouts have to earn merit badges, and the other organizations are always looking for activities for the kids. Be sure to check out my article on Summer Camps with some great tips by clicking here

 

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