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munari and ceramics
my name is "to play with art"
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MUNARI  and ceramics

Munari says…

The children have to live multi-sensorial experiences because they let them understand very directly a phenomenon; when children grow up everything will be explained, but it is necessary to give information following the level of understanding of the audience. Using a too elevated approach is a nonsense for a child who has no possibility to understand…

…putting your hands in a block of clay, working it, making your hands dirty, acting, pressing, rolling, doing it again, attaching the pieces together, doing a slab, making textures, (very easy, the children learn very quickly), destroying, making a lot of little balls, mixing everything and making something news. What? Everything you want!

The method tries to teach techniques, that is a way to communicate in a creative way, to join freedom to knowledge; only in this way the knowledge is not conditioned. The first result is child's amazement. The child realizes that a fork is not only a tool for eating, but it can draw pictures on the clay: a motorway? The rain?

Adults consider them “textures”, they want to destroy stereotypes; the child goes on playing and, at the same time, he/she learns the language of shapes and colors.

Plying with ceramics is, in this way, absorbed through several practical information and the creation of the clay objects is oriented towards a didactic course of ceramic techniques…

Concerning Bruno's thought it is necessary to think about the relation with children; they are different one from the other for attitudes, tastes, abilities and possibilities.

They need to have the possibility to express themselves freely but listening for the suggestions about the working method, “how can they do it”. Because a child can develop his/her creativity only through “knowledge”, and it will allow him to express himself freely.

When I started working in the Laboratory in 1982, the method was in an experimental phase. Following Bruno's will, after some experimentations and evaluations, I tried to create a code useful for a long term work based on the “practical creation”, being sure of the great approval the Laboratory would receive. I arranged the method taking into consideration two things: first the communication of the original method; second the evolution of children course. For this purpose I created series of voluntary steps in order to allow children to acquire ceramic techniques and their contents, from the easiest to the most complex ones.

The method starts with the “guided manipulation” to work the material; it underlines the sensitiveness of Bruno's thought and his attitude towards sensorial work on materials. Than the working technique of the glass pearls follows, dividing the operative pedagogic course in two steps.

The first part is easiest and essentially linked to the materials: guided manipulation, step textures, track textures, plaster mould, coil, little balls, slab.

In the second more complex part, different machineries and tools are used: little, medium and big clay extruder, colored clays, transfer, engraved and colored engobes, glass pearls.

The basic method, that is the BRUNO MUNARI METHOD ©, offers the first requirements necessary to face further didactic courses I created in the Eighties and Nineties, always under Bruno competence, that were more complex but at the same time always creative.

In this developing course, the visit at the Museum is the last step, but it is not less important than the others, on the contrary working with the clay, let children understand how working; it is the necessary premise to a better understanding of the collections and it represents the visual game that follows the practical game. The Museum became, step by step, a place containing not only objects to understand but also colors, shapes, surfaces, up to become a real place for children.

MUNARI says…

… the third phase lets the children face a problem: what can we do with all the things we learned?

That is the phase of the real planning ruled by creativity and by the logic of the techniques. This planning allows everyone to develop his own personality and to communicate his personal message to people. Well, no models to copy but techniques to learn, to plan everything you wish…