Editor’s Note: The Claymobile Outreach Program, a part of The Clay Studio in Old City, was founded in 1994 as a way to expose Philadelphia students to clay art. In class, students learn techniques that enable them to produce bowls, mugs, sculpture, and even wall art. The focus of the clay curriculum can vary, depending on the needs of the teacher and classroom. Hidden City Daily contributor Jenny Leibert has been a Claymobile instructor since the summer of 2010.
Claymobile classes often explore Philadelphia history, neighborhoods, and buildings. The hope is that students will use the experience to reflect on their own lives and neighborhoods. Thus, students not only learn about art, historic preservation, and architecture during these lessons, but also about each other and their own city.
This fall, students at Young Scholars Charter School at 21st and Norris Streets used clay to explore their neighborhoods and the many aspects that define a community. They produced clay sculptures based on rowhomes, factories, and famous Philadelphia buildings. They also learned architectural skills, producing model buildings with bricks, stoops, basketball courts, and flower boxes. They made clay maps of the city. This work was later showcased as a street scene for the school’s art show.