Learn about historical sacred objects and make clay faces and figures of your own! This course will explore the role art and art objects have played in belief systems throughout human history and around the world – while also providing a hands-on experience of creating sculptural ceramic pieces of your own design.
Daily presentations will explore peoples' belief systems in various continents and cultures, discovering remarkable commonalities in beliefs and the art objects created to support and articulate those beliefs. From pre-European Africa to pre-Columbian Central America and from ancient Europe to Oceania, we’ll see how indigenous cultures, completely separated by geography and time, came to remarkably similar conclusions about life, fertility, sickness, death, and other elements of the Common Human Experience. Finally, we’ll overlay what we’ve learned on the role of art in Christianity, particularly in Medieval times. We’ll see hundreds of compelling images of art objects worldwide throughout each presentation.
Of course, learning about fertility figures, spiritual guardians, and ritual masks – and countless other truly intriguing objects – will inspire us as we make our own clay sculptures each day. You’ll have plenty of time to learn new techniques in hand-building, with particular attention to face and figure construction and surface textures and patterns.