SAIIER 2014:White Peacock

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Savitri Bhavan
White Peacock


White Peacock is a ceramic arts studio for children and adults.

Objectives

  • To create a space for exploration of creativity through clay work
  • To build and maintain a community space where the Human Unity spirit appears in a group of people guided by their passion for art
  • 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
  • To discover one’s hidden potential using art language and support from co-students and facilitator

Outputs

During this school year the studio team has chosen an architect and started building a new classroom cum firing/storing place – a new home for the “Entity::White Peacock” club.

We noticed that Mona Doctor-Pingel, an architect, has a great feeling for the ceramic pieces installed in the building – inside and outside, on the walls, floor and the ceiling. With the younger and elder children we made a lot of decorative pieces that will be used in the new classroom – wall and floor tiles, ceiling plates, water spouts, murals etc.

An average of 40-50 children and adults aged from ages 3 to 68 – mostly Aurovillians and Newcomers – participated in these classes regularly.

Two part-time instructors and project holders (minimum 20 hours per week each), one administrative and research support plus one technical person worked on our project throughout the whole year.

Outcomes

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 continue to be extremely popular by families with young children. The youngest clay artist is just 3 years old.

Children who attend 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.

Children were involved in the building of a new classroom through their work. They were highly motivated as they felt the importance of their work and went onto another level of responsibility as the work they have done will be seen by everybody for a long time. This project is ongoing as we will continue with more murals for the same building. The architect made the space and the walls in such a way that the building itself will create a unique atmosphere of clay passion.

This year one more team member with engineering background joined us. This was a long awaited addition to the team. He was monitoring all the firings and improved our electrical kilns’ performance, adjusting the system to multiple power cuts. He maintained all the kilns and exchanged the heating elements in the large kiln. It was a year with smooth firing schedule. He will continue the technical supervision and maintenance of all the equipment.

Remarks

This year we focused on practical pottery. For the first half year we were exploring design in pottery as a way to make useful things beautiful and vice versa. We spent a lot of time sketching easy and comfortable to use things such as soap dish where soap doesn’t slip and doesn’t become wet etc. Some students went very deep in this. Parents supposed to be our judge team as they got the results to be used at home. The feedback was very good.

The second half of the year most of the time was taken by practical tasks got from the architects of our new building. While making a community projects we are growing as a team and all the inner blocks and fears dissolve as we are all one joined author of the art piece.