SAIIER 2013:White Peacock
Life Science Laboratory
”White Peacock” is a ceramic arts studio for children and adults.
- To create a space for exploration of creativity through clay work
- To build and maintain a community spirit between a group of people randomly gathered by their passion for creative arts and crafts
- To build more confidence and a sense of peace through self realization
- To encourage children and adults to develop their artistic skills to allow the artist within to emerge
- To provide an opportunity for learning after school/work time and weekends
- To help young children develop and improve their fine motor skills
- Six clay sessions weekly 2-3 hours each
- Class preparation, research on materials, firing (weekly – 8 hours)
- Master-classes, classes for visiting students
- Participating in music festival at Solitude with the exhibition and free workshop for children
- An average of 40-50 children and adults aged from 3 to 68 - mostly Aurovillians and Newcomers – participated in these classes regularly.
- Two part-time instructors - project holders (minimum 20 hours per week each), one administrative and research support plus one helper (volunteer) worked on our project throughout the whole year.
Clay work gives an opportunity for students to freely express something deep within themselves and to come in contact with one's inner self.
Working with clay demands a lot of concentration and patience along with the ability to visualize. Children demonstrated increasing levels of skills (fine motor and artistic skills). All of the participants (including trainers) enjoyed the special atmosphere (i.e. relaxed, camaraderie, supportive, and harmonious) which nourished their creative capacities.
Sunday classes continues to be extremely popular by families with young children. The youngest clay artist is just 3 years old.
Children who attends classes for 2-3 years show great skills and deep filling of the material. They gained certain confidence and now able to come up with their own ways to achieve constructive forms and to manifest their own creative ideas in clay and colors.
This year White Peacock team was invited by Auroville architect to participate in decorating of the new Pre-Crèche building. Indeed our colorful ceramic tiles suit the space specially made for small children best. All the students of “White Peacock” with the great help of Udavi School clay class students made more than 200 tiles. Children were highly motivated as they felt the importance of their work for the community. This project is ongoing as we will continue with two more murals for the same building.
“White Peacock” was invited to participate in Arts and Music festival at Solitude Farm in February 2013. We joined the Kid‘s Corner activities. More than 50 people - children and their parents - enjoyed taking part in two activities - clay corner and necklace making workshop. We exhibited our big team project - “The Castle” - made out of red and white clay by all the students. There we also presented colorful photos picturing creative life of “White Peacock” studio. The workshops and exhibition were maintained by the young students of the clay studio.
This year one more team member with an engineering background joined us. This was a long waited addition to the team. He was monitoring all the firings and improved our electrical kilns‘ performance adjusting the system to multiple power cuts. He will continue the technical supervision and maintenance of all the equipment.
This year was extremely challenging for our development due to multiple power cuts (up to 12-14 hours a day). The process of electric firing needs at least 8 hours of uninterrupted electricity supply. Facing the impossibility to make a glaze firing, we were forced to explore traditional methods from different cultures in decorating pottery without high temperature glaze firing such as graffito, application of color clays, burnishing, different texture etc. This brought us to the idea to go in deeper research of ethnic pottery and ancient firing methods. We will continue this research in coming school year.