Discipline: Visual Arts
Homebase: Prince George
Grant Eligibility: Eligible to apply for AIC
Leanna Carlson is a ceramic artist that has been working with clay and studying the science of it for over 25 years. She runs a successful teaching studio in Prince George, BC. She has shown her work in the U.S. and China, and is an international award winning artist. For Leanna, the materials themselves are an important part of her expression.
School Year: 23-24
A 12 session program that we implemented in a Grade 4/5 classroom at Ron Brent Elementary School in Prince George BC. Two of the sessions included very unique field trips. The first trip was to a local river to dig clay. The final field trip was to Leanna's back yard "primitive fire pit" to fire some of the pottery. The project was an opportunity to instruct students on the science and applications involved in making items out of clay, ranging from the initial harvesting of natural clay, the use of tools, and glazing and firing. It also takes a global approach by examining the history and techniques of clay-use from four distinct cultures. Ron Brent Elementary is an inner-city school that draws from an economically-challenged neighbourhood and has a high proportion of Indigenous students. The project was developed collaboratively by Leanna Carlson (Potter / Clay Artist), Stacey Kelsh (Grade 4/5 Teacher - Ron Brent Elementary School), Nancy Alexander (School Counsellor - Ron Brent Elementary School) and Sean Farrell (Executive Director - Community Arts Council of Prince George & District). The project also included an Aboriginal cultural component which was supported by staff from the School District 57 Aboriginal Education Department.
School Year: 23-24
This project is evolved from our 2018 highly successful AIC funded project designed for ACP senior programs at the Center For Learning Alternatives in Prince George, B.C. ACP programs provide services for students who despite planned interventions, can no longer be accommodated within the mainstream school system. Student explored identity through personal, family, and community relationships using the medium of clay and pottery techniques. They explored ceramic arts and the history of pottery design aesthetically as it contributes to our sense of identity and our place in the world historically and today. Under my guidance, the youth will first explored clay making techniques and viewed a number of clay examples of objects as a form of cultural and personal identity. We also took the opportunity to explore how clay is made into a usable form for the kiln. The students created the first clay object as it related to a group decision based on exploring identity. We visited with local indigenous knowledge holders during the workshop sessions and shared stories around the topic of identity. Students then had the opportunity to examine their own identity and brainstorm a design that demonstrates their identity as it relates to themselves, their family and or their community relationships. At the end of the project, students, artist, teachers and volunteer staff hosted a celebration feast displaying their work for school community.
School Year: 23-24
I will bring the supplies, including the clay to the class and demonstrate building a project. The students then make their pieces and are encouraged to add their own creativity. If the teacher wishes, we can plan the projects to fit with their syllabus. The projects normally include applying the first layer of surface color to the pottery. I take the work home to the studio to fire in the kiln. Sometimes it is appropriate that I add another layer of glaze if they objects are meant to be functional and need to be food safe, dishwasher and microwave safe. When the pieces are finished, I deliver the projects back to the teacher. As you can see by my other offerings, we can tailor the projects and include layers of components for the students to learn while they are working with the clay. Possible components we can add to this plan are: Field trip to Salmon Valley to dig clay. This trip is one half hour each way and we spend about an hour going in and out to the clay. Kristian Winther Regional Park is very close to the clay dig sight and can be used as a picnic lunch area. Kilns and load a Pit fire Field trip. A field trip to Carlson Pottery Studios can include loading or unloading their pieces into a primitive type of kiln that uses wood and sawdust as well as a tour to view the various types of kilns. Soda kiln, electric kilns and raku kilns) The pit is fired within a day after the students load it and the pieces are brought to them at the school.