Title – Little Artists
By – C. Muetzel
I teach clay classes to children and adults. One cold afternoon a family came in to enjoy a clay class together. It is an hour class that is meant to allow a family some fun at creating their own creative clay piece.
Three children ages nine, seven and three nestled in their seats ready to begin their little artistic creations. The warm clay, tools and stamps made their eyes glissen with anticipation. They were so excited to begin. Every word I said to them made them feel so good that they were in an art class and so they began to create. Freedom to be the artist that was within them.
Freedom to touch, feel and express themselves UNTIL their parents took over and demanded, commanded and controlled their every moment.
They were to do this, do that, don’t do this, use this – not that … on and on it went. I sorrowfully watched as the little blooms of creations were taken from their small hands and controlled by parents who feel their children need to be told what and how to create so that it looks good.
The three year old rebelled and was told she was a brat. I wanted to ask how they, the parents would feel if they were enjoying themselves creating a piece of art and I took it from them and totally controlled the outcome of its creation. I asked the controlling father if he would like to look about the shop and let the three year old just play, explaining she would have fun and stop fussing for him. He did and she dove into the clay with the most beautiful smile beneath a mop of curls. It was HER creation now. The other children looked more relaxed and finished their pieces. Mom sat and found some words of praise for each of them and they beamed with joy that no toy could have produced the same results.
The lesson I am pointing out is in this hurried world, I find that
parents are not letting children create at their own level and teachers are caught up in making students perform. Let freedom work for a child and the masters of creations will develop.
Let the freedom to make their own choices develop their talents when it comes to creating art. Don’t control their creations just to please ourselves and what we as adults think is real art.