Working with “The 10”: Ceramics Packet Reflection


My friend, Ian Sands, developed a system called “the 9“.  They are packets based around the basics of subjects of art that artists create.  It’s not about content, but more about category that art would fall into.  The packets include: the object, architecture, nature, landscape, figure, portrait, imagination, non-representational, and conceptual.  He introduced them to me some time last school year, and I thought they were wonderful.  I’ve been successfully using them with my art 1 students this year.  They are a great introduction to art categories, while allowing my TAB students to make lots of meaningful choices.

I tested them out last year with one of my classes, and thought that they would be a great tool for working with my ceramics students as they move along their artistic journey.  Sometime last spring, I began planning how to use Ian’s model for my ceramics program.  I began researching and decided that for the most part, ceramics artists’ works fall into most of the same categories.  But, I discovered that there are 10 categories, instead of 9.  They include: nature, animal, architecture, “figure”-ative, functionality, imagination, non-representation, portraiture, the object, and conceptual/installation.

Following Ian’s template, I created consideration questions for each packet, changed up the suggestions and geared the planning around requirements I have for my students.  I am very happy with the development of my packets.

Now, here’s where I am dissatisfied with “The 10”.  I rolled them out in a way that I find isn’t working the way I hoped.  I thought it would make my students more independent, so I introduced it with my intermediate and advanced students.  (They meet at the same time.)  I think this was my mistake.  I should have used it with my beginners after we completed the “have-to” portion of our class.  Seeing how my art 1 students are growing using “The 9”, helped me to see this.  Currently with my beginners, we do ceramic artistic behavior units right after finishing our “have to” section.  We just began our first unit, Ceramic Artists are Inspired by Nature, but I think that after this unit, we will pass out sketchbooks and move onto the next packet.  Nature is one of the packets after all.  We will continue through the rest of the year going through packets, picking up next fall with where we left off.  Then we will dive into deeper meaning with Ceramic Artistic Behavior units.

I will continue with my upper ceramic students in the way we are working. With the exception of one student, they are all seniors, and I’m not too worried about it.  They are working and learning and growing.

They say it takes 3 years to really build up a program.  Like I previously stated, this is the 5th year of the program.  I’ve been playing around with it, trying new things each year to replace things that weren’t working.  I feel I finally have a great grasp on the program and the progression it should take to truly have my students behaving and thinking like artists.  The timing of “The 10” was the final piece of the puzzle that finally fell into place.


Screen Shot 2018-11-01 at 9.05.55 AM

Example of “The 10: Nature Packet”


7 responses »

  1. Thank you! Do you include anything else in the packet, other than this cover page?
    Every student works on the same theme? I was presenting 3 themes at a time for them to choose from…perhaps I should narrow it down.
    Do you grade proposals or sketchbooks? I have been including proposals and sketchbooks and final project reflections with their weekly engagement posts and following Ian’s grading system of 98, 75 or 50. But, now I’m thinking I will grade sketchbooks/proposals/final reflections separately from weekly engagement.
    I have broken up my week by days:
    Masters Monday – present some new artists for inspiration
    Technique Tuesday – I do demos
    Whatcha Wanna Know Wed – students present “cool stuff” they found or discovered
    Thoughtful Thurs – self reflect and continue on studio work
    Reflection Friday – Post to seesaw weekly engagement

    • I currently do not include anything other than the packet page. My upper kids have access to all 10, and they pick which they want and move at their own pace. As I move forward with them in my beginning class, I will have everyone work on the same packet…like I do with the 9 in my art 1. It will be about a 10 day build, with the allowance for kids that need more time.
      They are expected to write the answers to consideration questions, do planning and put in printed out research photos in their sketchbooks. After the build, I have them answer various reflection questions.

  2. Pingback: Year 12: A Review | TAB Studio with Mrs. B

  3. Hey there, do you have the “the 10” packet for ceramics online somewhere so I can see each lesson? I would love to see how you presented each one like you did with “the 9.” Thanks for any help!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s