Thursday, April 17, 2014

Brownie Badge: Potter

Last year, when our Brownie troop voted for the badges they wanted to earn this year, they unanimously agreed on the Potter Badge.  I spent a little time calling local studios and independent artists to find what options were available to us and what would work best with our available budget and space.  We decided to schedule a session with Funke Fired Arts in Cincinnati.  For $30 a girl, our troop completed 4 of the 5 steps required to earn the badge.  We were able to cover half of the cost with troop funds, and the families paid the remainder.  The girls took home three pieces of pottery, and they will remember the experience for years to come.

Step 1:  Find some pottery. We arranged a time for the troop to tour the extensive pottery collection at the Cincinnati Art Museum on a Saturday afternoon.  We are fortunate to live near one of the oldest arts institutions in the United States.  They have a ceramic beaker in their collection that was created about 6000 years ago.  During our tour, we learned about the museum's history which satisfied a step for the Celebrating Community badge.  (Please check back...that post is coming soon).  We also learned about Rookwood Pottery and the company's history.  If you are ever in town, a visit to the art museum is recommended.  After our hour-long tour, we headed over to Northland Ice Center.  Most of the girls had never been ice skating.  What better way to try something new than with your Girl Scout troop?  The girls had a great time.  No stitches and no broken bones.  That sounds like a successful trip to me!
Step 2:  Get to know clay.  By going to Funke Fired Arts, we completed the step that required the girls to visit a potter's studio.
Step 3:  Make a simple pot.  At Funke Fired Arts, our instructor decided to teach the girls to make a coil pot.  She then taught them to make a pinch pot that they could use as a lid for their coil pot. 

Step 4:  Make an art piece.  The girls turned clay into art.  They had the opportunity to roll out the clay and cut out a Christmas ornament with a cookie cutter of their choice.  They used a tool to poke a hole in the top to allow the ornament to be hung on a Christmas tree.
Step 5:  Paint and glaze.  Once they had cut out their Christmas ornament, the girls painted glaze on all three pieces. 
In a two-hour session, the girls made a coil pot, a pinch pot, rolled clay, cut an ornament, painted all three pieces, toured the pottery studio, and watched a pottery wheel demonstration.  It almost seems like we scored a great deal at $30 per girl!  Thanks to Funke Fired Arts and thank you for reading.

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