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Painting Clay Pot and Seeking Creative Freedom

Recently, when we were in Coorg, Pari tried her hands on the Potter's wheel and made a few pots and vases in different shapes and sizes.

Couple of days back, she painted one of the pots and thoroughly enjoyed the metamorphosis in its look due to the bright colours she painted with.

This clay pot was not glazed, so I had her use tempera paint. She could have used poster paint too but at that moment we did not have all the colours that she wanted to use.

Nevertheless, tempera paint worked out beautifully too. The best part is, she was able to paint directly off the plastic cups that they come in, here in India. That's the best part about tempera colours. The child does not need to dilute and mix them before she/he can start using.

I spread out sheets of newspaper on the table so as not to ruin the table and the mat.

Since, this pot is un-glazed, it is porous and hence the paint dries pretty quickly. If it doesn't, you must wait for one layer to dry nicely before moving on to apply any other layer of colour. If you are painting on a glazed pot, you will have to use ceramic colours or something similar.

After applying a base coat of yellow and after painting the roses, she did as her mood dictated her at that time. She wanted to apply some random, abstract strokes and I was all for it.

The Relevance of Creative Freedom

Pari's creative personality and process is very dfferent from mine, which I have learnt to appreciate after last few years of facilitating art activities with her and at times doing art myself along side her. She is very fast with anything she does – be it painting, writing, or ay other creative and learning process. It's her personality to see the thing finished soon.. Me, on the other hand – when it comes to any creative process, I'm not happy until I've put the best that I can. I am a very-very hard worker. Little bit of a perfectionist too, you can say. I say, "little bit" – not out of humility but because I know I am not a real perfectionist. That's not the right word for me. 'Hard-worker' and 'curious' are. So, as you can imagine, initially, it had been difficult for me letting go when seeing Pari finish off something in – what I thought sometimes, was – a tearing hurry!

And, what became of the end product due to her hurry was not my concern. Whether it turned out beautiful or not, whether it can be more beautiful or not – that's not what I would bother about. But, it would matter to me if she didn't enjoy herself while making it. It's in the process, I think, that the child actually learns. If the child goes through the process in an unexcited and detached way, then either the process was not right or the child was not involved in it due to lack of interest, short attention span etc. 

Hence, when doing art and craft with Pari, I try to ensure that she has genuine interest in the process and very important – she has the freedom to make what she wants to without any expectation from me. Being fully into the process in an impassioned way will make the child dwell on it, tinker with it, play around and be inquisitive and eventually come up with original ideas. 

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • param July 4, 2011, 11:59 am

    “She is very fast with anything she does – be it painting, writing, or any other creative and learning process. It’s her personality to see the thing finished soon..” koi gal nahi Rashmie, hum bhi aise hain bhaiya oops behna :)) Lovely work by pari.

    • Rashmie Jaaju July 6, 2011, 11:53 am

      Yeah, koi gal nahin ji! :)) Good to know you’re like this, too! Both of yours’ initials begin with ‘P’ after all… !

  • Preethi July 5, 2011, 5:24 am

    Lovelu work pari….BTW how did u make the roses on the pot..

    • Rashmie Jaaju July 6, 2011, 11:57 am

      Thank you for stopping by and sharing your comment.
      The roses were more or less made by the potter with some contribution from Pari.
      He taught us to make this way – you take a really small amount of clay and roll it into a tiny ball between the palm of your hand. Then, press the ball between finger tips in the shape of a petal. Make many petals like these and stick them side to side to shape it like a rose/flower. It’s easy.

  • Srishti July 6, 2011, 6:14 am

    I am in office and started my day today with this post :). I did see the painted pot last time when I visited your place and really liked the colors chosen. It added so much brightness to the setup. And the point you have mentioned about creative freedom is something which I would keep in mind while doing anything with Sarah. There is a high probability that we expect our child doing things exactly the way we do and in the process we forget that although she is a part of us but a different peron and has a different personality which we must give enough freedom to develop.

  • Rashmie Jaaju July 6, 2011, 12:01 pm

    Srishti dear,
    Happy to know you started your day with this post :)
    You are so right – “although she is a part of us but a different peron and has a different personality”. And then, be it the mother, the teacher or a trainer – any adult interference with their free spirit is like clipping their wings. We can be facilitators of their creative learning but should not direct one specific way or style. That will do more damage than benefit…
    Thank you again, for sharing your thoughts… :)

  • Khadija kiran July 15, 2011, 3:19 pm

    Hi dear, i like your interesting blog, very nice stuff :)
    keep sharing awesome ideas *(*

  • Pooja @ Claying Thoughts August 15, 2014, 10:46 pm

    This is sooo good!! She has painted so well. I also encourage my students to use these colors in small bottles…they give vibrant colors and i find them better than poster colors :)

    Once again….must say your daughter reallly did wonderful paints!!