Today is our last day of the year for children at kindergarten. The year has blown past at full speed and especially this last term, it has been a magical rollercoaster ride.
Once the children had gone home for the day I got the opportunity to go see a kiln. This kiln is looking for a new home and I would really love that new home to be kindergarten. Just think of what we go do with a kiln! The possibilities are overwhelming! You may think that all a kiln does is fire clay, but that small act of valuing children’s work is incredibly powerful. The message it sends to children is “You’re work is important” … “You’re work has meaning” … “You’re voice is heard here”… Plus, just think of the amazing creations we could make, and the fantastical stories that come with them. Not to mention the value of working in three dimensions! That is a whole different challenge!
Now, bringing a kiln to kindergarten is a wonderful ambition filled with its own challenges (think logistics, think health and safety) and I was even thinking about putting the word out to our neighbouring early learning centres and schools to offer our services. We could be the place to take your clay for firing and then all the children in our local community could benefit from somebody believing that their work is worth something, worth making just a little bit more permanent. A momento that bares witness to the thought and effort that went into its creation. How cool is that!
But then, though good conversation with the kiln’s current owner a pipe dream was born. We could (fingers crossed) use our kindergarten as an artistic hub. Open our doors once or twice a week to our local community. Like minded people creating alongside one another sharing their knowledge, experience and skills. We could hold workshops to teach basic skills and build people’s comfort and skill with clay. Often it is through an adults discomfort and unfamiliarity that children do not get to experience clay. If we could make a change (no matter how small) to people’s attitudes resulting in more opportunities for children then that is called winning.
I have a lot of learning to do. I know nothing about firing clay (luckily I have willing help in this area), but I am going to challenge myself to become an expert, learn a new skill and put it into practice. Any and all suggestions and advice welcome and encouraged.
Obviously, this is a pipe dream. It may not happen. Health and Safety might turn around and just say no. But I believe that it is better to have a dream and fail, than to never of had a dream in the first place. Our children deserve dreamers.
Here is the label on the kiln. If you have any knowledge, share it! Thanks in advance.