Hands On Clay

TAEA Middle Region 2019 Summer Conference Wrap-Up

By Michelle Vinci—TAEA Middle Region Chair


On June 18, art educators from all over the state of Tennessee came to the Middle Region for our annual Summer Conference. This time it was held at the Clay Lady’s Studio in Nashville where we learned “Advancing Your Clay Curriculum” and “Printmaking in Clay.” 

The day began with a light breakfast and coffee as well as a Keynote with Danielle McDaniel—well known as the Clay Lady. With the title “Wonderful World of Ceramics” Danielle (also proprietor of the Studio and MId-South Ceramics) led us in understanding more about various clay methods offered at the Studio as well as some of the scientific processes in creating clay and glazes. 

We began workshops where Danielle shared how to Advance Our Clay Curriculum. She taught several methods and projects that can be adapted to various levels: Elementary, Middle and High School. We all had fun experimenting with problem solving, textures and glazing. In the other workshop, Lyndy Rutledge shared at least 10 different methods of Printmaking in Clay and print transfer.  This was very insightful as there were methods that involved layering techniques and thinking through this was wonderfully creative.  All participants rotated to both workshops one in the morning and the other in the afternoon. Everyone walked away with at least 4 clay projects and lots and lots of new ideas!!

Lunch provided a great time for Janis Nunnally—past president and Melody Weintraub—president elect, to share about our State Conference: October 24-26 at Watkins College of Art in Nashville and how to nominate great art educators for this year’s TAEA Awards.

Participants all received swag in their conference bags and prizes in the drawing due to generous donations from the following:  Jerry’s Artarama, Plaza Artist Materials, Staples of Bellevue, Frist Art Museum, Cheekwood Estate and Gardens, Trades of Hope Artisans (Gretchen Shea), and Clay Lady’s Studio.