Coming to one of Rockbrook’s camp sessions is a wonderful opportunity for kids to learn about ceramics. Instead of just “painting pottery,” where you apply glazes to pre-formed ceramic pieces, we start with real clay. It’s really one of the most satisfying parts— to start with a lump of what’s essentially soft, smooth mud, and learn how to change it into something beautiful and useful.
There are lots of ways to do that too. You might simply pinch and press the the clay to form a cup, for example, or you might first roll the clay into a long, snake-like coil which can then be stacked to make a dish of some sort. It’s a little more advanced technique, but you can also center a ball of clay on a spinning platter (“the wheel”), and shape it into a symmetrical bowl or cup. This is sometimes referred to as “throwing a pot on the wheel.” It’s almost magical to see. From the lump of clay, you carefully pull up the sides of a beautiful vessel.
These building techniques are just the beginning of what kids learn about ceramics while at camp. They also understand the complete process of drying what they make, glazing their pieces, and ultimately the finished results after firing everything in a kiln. Every summer ceramics is a hugely popular activity with the kids at Rockbrook. When you see what they learn, what they end up making, and how much fun they have doing it, you can see why!