A cliff collapse in 1992 revealed evidence of a Stone Age settlement to the north of Greystones in the Rathdown area. A shell midden and neolithic flints were among the finds.
Shellfish meat has been used as food and as fish bait since earliest times until the modern era. Shell middens are the rubbish dumps of the unwanted shells from oysters, limpets, and periwinkles.
Our method of working with children is to guide them through the same processes that artists go through in their own work.Today we introduced the fifth class to the idea of middens and what these traces reveal to us today about our past.
We observed limpet shells; the form and the exterior and interior texture.
We looked at a slide show of shells, and ceramic artists’ work that are inspired by these forms and textures.
The children were given clay to roll out into slabs. This clay was used to try out textures with the tools we provided.
When they were familiar with the tools they were given clay to make forms for our final artwork.This is the clay we collected from the North Beach mixed with another clay to make it a bit more malleable.They were asked to make six small forms inspired by the limpet shells.
Then they were asked to make four semi-spheres and join them together with slip ( a liquid clay) to make two hollow spheres.
Using the tools they had already explored they added textures to their forms.
We have a wonderful collection of textured forms made by the children.These forms will be bisque fired in our kiln to make them strong, then we will do a sawdust pit fire demonstration in the school grounds.