A collection of mini masterpieces, representing watery inhabitants from sea urchins, starfish and other dwellers of the deep, are products of a wave of creativity that’s washed over Karen LeCompte’s classroom that began last fall.
“It’s now become a year-long project,”
Beginning in October, students and their teacher, in her 5th grade class at Saltar’s Point Elementary School discovered the endless creative possibilities by using 400 pounds of an often-messy medium.
The end result? The maritime exhibit consists of six rows of four tiles each, each bearing one-of-a-kind interpretations of under the sea life.
More than two dozen of these tiles are scheduled to be displayed on the walls behind the school’s aquarium at the end of this month. They will be hung in a custom-built frames, created by Bob Ditzler, Mrs. LeCompte father.
The tiles will be featured along with other maritime artwork, such as the stained glass windows that were hung several years ago.
Cupboards above the classroom worktable are filled with clay products in various stages of completion, and classroom conversation revolves around design, types of glazes, whether to make a coil, a pinch, or slab design. This project, Mrs. LeCompte continues, has ignited students’ interest-even the most reluctant students’ enthusiasm has blossomed from working with clay.
“The students have become connoisseurs of clay,” she says.
The clay project, explains LeCompte, blends math, science and writing, and draws on help from parent volunteer, Candy Ayles, and expert advice from the Clay Art Center in Tacoma. Funding for supplies have come from Kiwanis of Steilacoom and the Schatz Fund.
“People want to come (to the room) and play with clay,” she adds.
The students’ work will be displayed during Saltar’s Point’s annual Arts Gala in May that showcases the school’s many expressions of Art, Music, Dance and Theater.