Ms. Kimbley’s Virtual Ceramics Class


Mei Dotzler, Reporter

“A couple years ago, I realized that ceramics had not been taught at Sahuaro in years, despite the fact that we have a working kiln and plenty of ceramics supplies,” Ms. Kimbley says, as her idea for a ceramics class sparked years ago. Although, it has surely been an adjustment because while it is not only the class’ debut, but like all other classes, it’s being taught via Zoom.

Julian Villegas’ Clay Coil Pot

Despite the hundreds of unopened pounds of clay sitting in the school art studio, Ms. Kimbley has been forced to be creative with her online lesson plans. As a way to effectively teach the techniques of 3-D art affordably, she has students practice with .50 cent Play Dough from Walmart, along with other materials like modeling or air dry clay.

While demonstrating on Zoom, students will follow along and practice with their own clay, as a way for not only visual, but also hands-on instruction. As a weekly project, students must research the topic, create their own sculptures, and then submit their pictures into Teams to earn credit.

Another Coil Pot made by a Ceramics student

Along with projects, students participate in Thursday’s “Creative Conversations”, where students must find a sculpture on the internet that relates to the prompt, and provide three thoughtful comments on it. Ms. Kimbley says “It has proven to be a really great way to expose students (and myself) to a variety of different art, artists, and websites, and I may even incorporate it into my in-person curriculum when we return.”

Despite the circumstances, Ms. Kimbley has created an enjoyable and interactive environment for her students. Sahuaro junior, Julian Villegas says, “I really like this class; it’s super fun.” Another student, senior Jillian Aguilera says, “I like that I’m getting to try new stuff I probably never would’ve looked at, like Claymation. Also using different methods to make things out of the clay is also cool.”

Keep an eye out for new projects on @artatsahuaro on Instagram!