Saturday, March 2, 2013

conceived in clay

modeling embryonic development with Christian Breme

The February Teachers' Conference at Steiner College promoted the "artistic process as the essential paradigm for education." Art has long been a part of human culture, evident in cave drawings as far back as 10,000 years. In one respect, the artistic process is not a new paradigm at all. It does, however, offer a fresh perspective that boldly regards the arts as the driving force behind child and curriculum development.

Christian Breme, a sculptor and art teacher at the Rudolf Steiner School in Basel, Switzerland, taught a workshop in clay modelling of embryonic development. Having had a conventional learning experience in the sciences, it was a fresh perspective for me to study embryology in the medium of clay. Working with clay, which started cold and warmed gradually in my hands, the stages of development takes on an interactive, dynamic quality that you would not get simply by looking at pictures. In the process of modeling the clay, altering its physical character, transforming it, one can appreciate the development as a continuous process.