SAIIER Annual Report 2014-2015: White Peacock ceramic studio

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White Peacock ceramic studio


Introduction

White Peacock is a creative space that guides ceramics classes and ‘open space’ activities for all age groups, from 3 to 120 years. We aim to give Aurovilians the possibility to explore the unique, responsive material – and the altogether magic process – of ceramic media. We exist for inspired amateurs and for children; we focus on the creative process.

Description of project

White Peacock offered regular classes and occasional workshops over the course of the year, and participated in Auroville festivals and exhibitions. Our activities are done in the spirit of unending education and openness for the new creative ideas. Our White Peacock clay club studio is in the Kindergarten compound, Center Field, Auroville.

Anna and Saraswati are the teachers for ceramic arts; Anna works with adults while Saraswati is mostly focused on children. They are helped by Helena and by Fedor who offers technical support (kilns servicing, exploration of the most effective ways of firing).

Regular classes this year included:

  • Adults class – 2 times a week – 7-10 participants
  • TLC school – 2 times a week – 5-7 participants
  • Sunday class – up to 25 people

Other events and activities of the year included:

  • Participation in Tsunamika Day festival at Bharat Nivas
  • Participation in the Potters' Market at the Visitor’s Center – we conducted a clay class open to everybody, on a non-commercial basis, which about 90 people attended
  • Ongoing methodical support for the Kindergarten clay class
  • Consultations for representatives of educational institutions on how to start a clay workshop (by request)
  • Workshop for parents and children of TLC – 27 people participated in making tiles for their new building
  • Weeklong workshop for 10 Tibetan students visiting Auroville
  • Workshops for other visiting students
  • Teachers training workshops

Reflections

We explored lots of new techniques and deepened the knowledge of the old methods with our students and club members. We are working towards making a great collection of video presentations from internationally recognized masters to enrich our teaching and learning process.

This year brought us a new building (classroom cum firing room), accomplished with the help of many people. This gave us the awareness that the service we provide is needed and appreciated. The construction also taught us how to raise funds. Now the building is complete, we are working on a landscape development.

For a first time in January 2015, Auroville was hosting a three days Potters' Market (about 30 participants), and White Peacock participated in it as a vendor and as a conductor of activities (clay corner and jewellery making corner). Unexpectedly we realized that the artifacts made by non-professionals (our students) found their appreciators. In fact, we gathered a lot of interest. Planning to be better prepared for the coming Potter’s Market in January 2016.

This year we moved towards student-to-student sharing mode along with teacher-student communication. This allowed us to slowly transform the ‘class’ model into an all-levels interaction and collaboration. We came to the beautiful moment when the elder students with their skills were able to assist the new younger students. This freed a lot of the teacher’s time and raised the community spirit, as well as gave the elder students more confidence.

Future direction

We will continue conducting regular classes and exploring further the endless possibilities of clay work. Our goals for next year are:

  1. To put up an exhibition at Citadines at the end of the school year involving all the people who come and work at White Peacock during the year. The collective of more than 50 people will make a team effort to explore communication through clay. We have already started putting up the exhibition collection. Most of the students will be making solo works as well as team projects for the exhibition.
  2. To make an 8-day holiday camp (September 20- 27) where 10-12 children and adults explore non-stop the ways of communicating through clay. Activities will include hand building and wheel throwing, as well as surface decoration techniques, field trips and introductions to all methods and experiences available. We will connect with Golden Bridge pottery, Mandala and Flame potteries, have classes inspired by art masterpieces and by nature objects, and give space for informal sharing and tasty snacks.
  3. To participate in the second annual Auroville Potters' Market to be held at the end of January, 2016. Apart from being the main fundraising event for White Peacock, the Market gives an amazing feeling of being a part of the professional potters community, and gives the opportunity to interact with masters and to learn from them. Students and teachers of White Peacock will bring some life to the event too, offering clay-related activities at the spot.
  4. To involve more people in teaching – volunteers, interns, guest artists – when they visit Auroville.


Photo White Peacock 1 800.JPGPhoto White Peacock 2 800.JPGPhoto White Peacock 3 800.JPGPhoto White Peacock 4 800.JPG

External links

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