Today Clara decided to work with our clay group. She was given a clay board, a piece of clay, and tools that were available at the center of our table. Some children were working on their self portraits while others were simply playing with it. Clay is a great medium to work with for many reasons, one of them being that children are able to create and recreate their ideas numerous times with the same material.
Here Clara has made “a place,” which she described as “just a place” when asked what and where it was. She explained that this place contained “energy that made all of the lights turn on- electricity.” She then asked me if I “liked it?” I responded by asking what she thought of it…She paused for a few moments looking up and I waited silently for her response. Clara then explained “I don’t like it, I just had to make it.”
This sparked and validated so many questions within me. Is creating a need? As creators, do we have to like it in order to make it? Are our creations more than a product, but a drive within us that must be executed? Who is it for when we create?
Clara seemed unattached to the piece as she explained it to me, but when asked to put the clay back she hesitated and was unsure about smashing it back into the rest of the clay. She eventually did decide to recycle the clay, as she was ready to move on to different project.
Hence, there was meaning in that “place” for Clara. It was a need to create it. If we allow children to create without boundaries and expectations they will become self driven and motivated by their own ideas. An accomplishment I believe within a seemingly product driven society.