CBMS Choice-Based Art Studio

CBMS Choice-Based Art Studio
CBMS Choice-Based Art Studio

Monday, October 11, 2010


Blackware pot by Maria Martinez

“B” is a 5th grader. He settled in to work at the Clay Center earlier this quarter and noticed a large poster of an exquisite black pot made by Native American potter Maria Martinez. He remembered seeing a video about Maria and her work when he was an elementary school student and knew she built her pots using the coil method. “B” set out to make a pot like Maria Martinez.
"B" worked and worked on his project, starting with a wooden bowl to help form the base.
 As his pot grew he learned to shape it, bringing the form out and then back in again. He took care to smooth the coils and make the joints strong. Each day he had to wrap the pot carefully in plastic to keep it moist.

After several weeks work, the pot was done and ready to be fired.
"B" is proud of his work, and I am proud of him for selecting a difficult project of personal interest, and sticking with it from inception to completion. “B’s” work demonstrates the studio habit Engage and Persist - an essential trait for artistic growth. He also utilized the studio habit Develop Craft as he practiced the coil method for hand-building with clay, and embodied the habit Understand the Art World by referencing our most celebrated American potter. There are eight studio habits of mind (Hetland et al, 2007) students develop through their work as artists in the studio-classroom(Engage and Persist, Develop Craft, Understand the Art World, Envision, Stretch & Explore, Observe, Express & Reflect) for “B” to employ three of these in this one project is exemplary.

* For more information on the 8 Studio Habits of Mind, visit: