Roseville High School's independent student press

Ceramics shapes sculptures from home

April 17, 2020

Ceramics teacher Joyce Henry works with students in class.

Ceramics, a hands-on VAPA elective, typically relies on in-class resources, and has had to rework curriculum for distance learning.  Because of the sudden lack of resources, students took on more assignments analyzing and writing essays on ceramic sculptures from different eras.

Students still get hands-on learning by picking up clay at the Art Quad at school to use for sculptures, or make sculptures from

disposable material found in their area.

Ceramics Teacher Joyce Henry is currently the only instructor teaching the course, meaning she has the sole responsibility of keeping the course going. Henry said she noticed that students, particularly seniors, miss working at school. 

“They wanna be at school. They wanted to socialize,” Henry said. “They’re upset about missing very significant events. The seniors are saying there’s a possibility that they won’t be able to go through a ceremony, and this is all very upsetting.”

Henry wanted to have the students become more creative at home. If school doesn’t go back in session in time for finals, Henry is planning sculpture assignments for students to do with different materials at home.

Sophomore Lily Jorgensen is one of the ceramics students affected by the school closures, and found switching online difficult.

“It affects the ability to actually learn hands-on.” Jorgensen said. “We were supposed to start a new way of building that a lot of people were excited for, but unfortunately, we won’t be able to do it.”

Despite that,  sophomore Spencer True feels Henry has done well bringing students together in groups while transitioning the course online.

“I know she wishes that we could be in the classroom making art, but we can only do so much right now.” True said.

True said the limitations of the online class in terms of working hands-on with clay makes learning more difficult. 

“Ceramics helped build our creativity and since we can no longer work with the clay, I feel like I am a little less creative since I can’t make anything.”


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