Many of you have been following our instagram posts sharing the work of artists of color for the last couple of months.  We started to feature these ceramic artists in the wake of the murder of George Floyd, which brought on the most recent surge in the Black Lives Matter movement.  We believe it is important to further the movement in any way we can.  We realized that one small thing we could do is simply to highlight the ceramic works of people of color, people from diverse backgrounds.  In the process, all of us at Brackers that have been contributing to this series have expanded our own minds & views, and we continue to learn about new artists from our own research and from each other.  We hope to inspire more people and businesses to join us in this exploration.

But I want to do more, and I want my company to do more.

In the course of my own personal examination and efforts, I happened to read a letter written to another organization, urging them to be more involved in working to improve diversity not only within their own organiation, but starting at foundational ages…K-12 schools.  How many Black, Native American, Latinex, Asian, Middle Eastern, or multiracial K-12 students are likely to see the work of someone that looks like them in their schooling?   With the exception of the month of February (Black History Month), the history & literature our students are taught are white, eurocentric lessons.  Ceramic Art might include references to Shigaraki, Japan or Jingdezehn, China, but techniques and aesthetics continue to be largely European.  Ceramics is virtually EVERYWHERE in the world.  We have an icredible opportunity to provide a year-round curriculum that gives all students an opportunity to learn about different cultures.

So we are currently in the process of creating and sharing complete lesson plans that will be centered around how ceramics evolved in cultures across the country…

Was it…           utilitarian?           ceremonial?               artistic?

What are the construction methods used?

the decoration methods?

the firing methods?

Were there other factors that influenced uses of clay…

environmental?          political?          financial?

How did ceramic art evolve over time in these cultures?

Our goal is to provide the following:

  • Lesson plans which can be able to be taught in a remote teaching/learning environment with use of a “home studio setup”
  • Lesson with connection to geography, history, culture, possibly literature and other humanities for futher study or connecting to other classes students are taking (collaborative teaching opportunitites)
  • Materials list
  • A project with step by step instructions
  • Resources and links for more information/further study
  • Glossary/vocabulary list as well as suggestions for reading/writing assignments/assessments to use with or in place of at home clay work
  • Assessment tools

And our initial brainstorm for release of lessons includes:

  • From the African Continent:
    • Ghana
    • Nigeria
    • Burkina Faso
    • Rwanda
    • Zimbabwe/Gwayi River
  • From the North American Continent & Central America:
    • Mexico – Mata Ortiz, Aztec,
    • Native American traditions – Maria Martinez, Lucy Lewis, other tribes (more research needed)
    • Mimbres
    • Central America (Costa Rica, Panama, Nicaragua, Guatemala – Mayan pottery)
  • From South America:
    • Peru
    • Chile
    • Bolivia
  • From the Middle East:
    • Islamic Pottery/Tiles
  • From Asia:
    • Mumbai, India
    • China
    • Japan
    • Korea

We are seeking consultants to help us bring these to fruition, no experience is necessary, just a passion to help improve diversity in our K-12 ceramics classrooms.  We are hoping to provide stipends/honoraria to consultants

We are also seeking teachers to use/test these lessons and give us feedback on them.

Interested in joining us? Fill out the form below:

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