Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts

K-12 teachers sculpt animals

Posted:  Friday, August 10, 2018 - 7:00am

On Aug. 2 and 3, seventeen art educators from Maine and around the northeast relished an opportunity to become students again. Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts welcomed the teachers for a summer workshop on sculpting animals in clay. Boston-based artist and art teacher Claudia Olds Goldie led the participants through a variety of techniques and projects that can be adapted for all grade levels, class sizes, and classroom situations. Through demonstrations and hands-on practice, participants learned how to create a menagerie of animals—wild, imaginary, and domestic—that can stand alone or evolve as sculptural pottery.

Local teaching artist Liz Proffetty generously hosted the Watershed workshop at her Neighborhood Clay studio in Damariscotta. Over the two days, the educators enjoyed hours of studio practice and individualized attention from Claudia. The group drew inspiration from animal illustrations, photographs, and contemporary and historical sculpture. Dragons, cats, birds, dogs, and rabbits populated the tabletops as the participants molded and shaped their creatures.

“Learning from experts allows art teachers to bring their craft and their student's craft to the next level,” shared workshop participant Lisa Gilman. “I learned so much from Claudia. Her mastery of clay is beautiful and she is very open about her processes. This will directly impact my teaching!”

Watershed originally recruited Olds Goldie to lead a figurative sculpture workshop for teachers in 2017. She returned this summer to cover sculpting animals at the request of last year’s workshop participants. In addition to being an exceptional teacher, Claudia is an accomplished artist. She has received numerous fellowships and grants, and shows her work nationally. She teaches sculpture at Dexter Southfield School in Brookline, Massachusetts, and is an instructor at Harvard’s University’s Ceramics Program.

The workshop is part of a series of workshops for K-12 educators hosted by Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts and supported by a generous donor. Learn more about the Center’s programs at www.WatershedCeramics.org.