At the Ethical Culture Fieldston School, arts education focuses on individual artistry and community-building, giving students the foundation for a sustainable, fulfilling artistic practice. The robust arts program emphasizes technical skill and creative expression, developing students who feel confident in their work. Art is undeniably one of the most exhilarating classes for young students, and at Ethical Culture, Visual Arts Teacher Kate Eady constantly encourages her students to inspire one another. This spring, Eady’s students across all grades embarked on a journey into the world of ceramics, delving into remarkable projects that allowed their imaginations to flourish.
In the newly-renovated art classroom overlooking Central Park, the 4th Grade students skillfully molded sculptures that bore a striking resemblance to foods inspired by their favorite meals and cultural backgrounds, from perfectly rolled sushi to overflowing plates of pasta and meatballs. Meanwhile, the imaginative minds of the 2nd Graders took flight as they crafted cups uniquely shaped like animals, demonstrating their budding artistic experimentation.
First, students begin by brainstorming their ideas and then translating them into drawings in their sketchbooks. Next, Eady explained the many techniques of working with clay — from pinching, slabbing, and coiling to the “scratch and attach” method — and ensured students applied three layers of glaze to get the most vibrant colors. Over the course of these projects, the students discovered the joy of self-expression and the immense power of art to ignite their imaginations.
From an octopus and a deer to an elephant and make-believe monsters, the 2nd Grade students’ projects exhibited their burgeoning artistic talents and imbued everyday objects — like a cup! — with a touch of magic.
In one of Eady’s 5th Grade classes, students were in the final stages of creating houses out of clay. Eady provided the students with photos of different structures to inspire their creations. One student was etching outlines of bricks on what looked like a replica of the Taj Mahal, while another student finished painting a treehouse!
The ceramics project at Ethical Culture has transformed the hallways into a vibrant oasis of creativity and cultural appreciation. We are so thankful for teachers like Eady, who go above and beyond to foster and nurture their creative forms of expression.