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Ceramics Year in Review

During the 2022-2023 academic year, nearly 90 Upper Division students in grades 9 through 12 traveled to the Ceramics Studio a few times each week for Ceramics I: Introduction to Ceramics, Ceramics II: The Pottery Wheel, Ceramics III: Complex Forms & Surfaces, Ceramics IV: Building a Body of Work, or Directed Study in Ceramics.

Ceramics teacher Keith Renner shared, "It has been an absolute joy to work with our talented students as they engaged in the adventure that is ceramics.  From making their own clay body from raw materials, to ‘tallest clay tower’ competitions, to exploring the differences between oxidation and reduction glazes as their works were fired in a 2300 degree kiln, to the endless supply of surprises that each and every student brought to each and every project, we have enjoyed a remarkable year in HM’s ceramics studio.” When asked about his experience with the program, graduating senior Jake Ziman ‘23 reflected, “HM’s Ceramics program has driven my love for and interest in visual arts. Mr. Renner’s guidance has helped me unlock my artistic potential, and I’m so thankful for the creative opportunities that he has given me.”

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What does it mean to go "swamping"?  What kinds of creatures live in mud?  What does the skin of a frog feel like?  Are "mud-suckers" real?  These questions are among many that second graders explored during their day trip to Dorr this spring. 

The second grade class Dorr trips are the first time HM students come to Dorr with their classmates, and each year the children are full of wonder and curiosity. They explored Dorr through scavenger hunts and discovered robins sitting on their nests, grey tree frogs hiding in plain sight, patterned tree bark, newly hatched painted turtles, and fields and fields of wildflowers.  

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When students are in residence at Dorr, they take part in what HM calls Beauty and Order.  Like chores at home, Beauty and Order is one of the ways students take care of Dorr's spaces, and by extension, each other. Each year, the entire 8th grade returns to Dorr for a day of service, like a large version of Beauty and Order.  Last week, students spent the day in their 8th grade Dorr groups and worked on projects like trail maintenance and marking, deep cleaning projects, and clearing space in the garden for new plants.  A new project this year was the creation of two hibernaculums, which are dug pits filled with stones, logs and pipes.  These hibernaculums will be a winter sanctuary and hibernation spot for amphibians such as frogs, toads and salamanders as well as snakes. 

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