Distance Learning: Paper/Slab Drinking Vessel Unit Plan from Lauren Karle

Task 1 (Motivation): Analyze drinking vessels

·       You are stuck at home. Go to your cupboards and choose 3 unique and different drinking vessels. Look for variety of material: glass, metal, ceramic, plastic. Look for variety of function: cold or hot beverages, something you drink from every day or something you drink from on special occasions, used for kids or used for adults. Select them carefully.

·       Analyze them by answering the following questions: What beverage is it typically used to drink? Does it work well for that? Why or why not? Hold it. Does it fit in your hands? Is it ergonomic and pleasing to touch – the material, the shape, the size? Put your lips to the rim. How does it feel – the material in your mouth, the angle and thickness? What material is it made of? Would you choose a different material? Describe it visually – the height, width, color, pattern/design, shiny/matt. Does it have good proportion? Is the color(s) suitable for the intended beverage?


Task 2: Use a drinking vessel to share a conversation

·       People have time, lots of time they don’t normally have. If you could sit down with one person and share a conversation, who would it be? Invite them to share a drink and conversation with you, in person if they live in your home, or online if they are quarantined away from you.

·       Conversation Prompts:

o   Tell them why you chose to share a drink and conversation with them! Why are they special to you?

o   Ask them about their drinking vessel: Get their opinion about the vessel they are drinking from. You can use the same questions you used to analyze your cups above or think of your own.

o   Talk about COVID-19: How does being quarantined make you feel? What are your/their fears? What are you enjoying and embracing? What are you learning about the people you live with? What are you most looking forward to once life outside the house resumes?

·       Take a picture of you and your person sharing a drink!


Task 3 (demonstration of technique): Use paper to model a new drinking vessel

**I could make a video demonstrating this part

·       Choose a beverage you will design a cup for. Make sketches so you know the form you are aiming for. Think about form and function. A hot beverage needs to be contained to keep warm (do the sides or lip curve in? is there a handle?). A beverage for special occasions should have a very different presentation that a cup for milk (on a stem or pedestal?).

·       My favorite part about being an artist is PLAYING. Approach this with the mindset of experimentation, exploration, and play!

·       Start by cutting out a 5”x15” rectangle. Cut 5 triangular darts out of it at 3” intervals. Tape the edges and darts together. Analyze the form. How would more or less darts change it? Taller or shorter darts? Curvy cuts as opposed to straight? Does the proportion feel too tall or short?

·       Make another iteration by making small changes to your original template or darts. Then another . . . and another . . . and another . . . until you find the form you were seeking.


Task 4: Surface

·       Make sketches to experiment with different colors or patterns. Consider what beverage is meant to be in the cup. Can you include that in your color scheme? Does the beverage require a certain interior (I like to drink tea from light interiors so I can see how strong it is steeped)?

·       Using markers, colored pencils, paint, or anything you have at home, color your template how you might have chosen to glaze it. Consider how pattern and color can enhance or collapse a form. Another option would be to create the surface in photoshop and use the eyedropper to experiment with different colors.


Task 5 (Culminating experience): Feedback

·       Connect with a classmate online. Use PQP to evaluate each other’s work.

1.    Praise: What do you like about their work.

2.    Question: Ask them a question about their work.

3.    Propose an Idea: Starting with “If this were my work, I would . . .” give them constructive criticism or an idea.



Posted on

March 20, 2020

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