Jackie Washam: From Ceramics to Sculpture

Ceramics teacher and professional artist Jackie Jouvenal Washam has used her creative thinking skills to triumph yet again. She single handedly solved what might feel like an impossible brain teaser to many of us: How does one teach Ceramics online?
It was not possible to ship clay to all three of her ceramics classes—with some students being as close as Virginia, while others hailing from different continents altogether. So Jackie took inspiration from artists like Jeff Koons and Claes Oldenburg—both of whom are recognized for their work reflecting popular culture and depicting everyday objects—to help her students think and create in 3D. The assignment: pop-art sculptures out of cardboard. “I thought, everyone, must have cardboard piling up from ordering online, so that’s one material everyone has access to.”

All three sections first came together to learn about the pop-art movement and find some inspiration, whether it be Oldenburg’s Spoonbridge and Cherry, or Koons’s larger than life balloon animals. All 25 students used a blogging website to share their progress with pictures and videos, and to provide peer feedback.

“It’s been really awesome having every level working together, some of the girls who are just starting get to see how the girls who have been working in 3D for a while approach it, and they can ask each other questions.” 

So what did some of the girls create? Amelia F. ’22 made a giant nail polish bottle, with a removable cap and functioning brush, Clare T. ’22 crafted a tape dispenser, Jordan M. ’22 made a giant shampoo bottle, and Meredith K. ’23 is still putting the finishing touches on a Hot Wheels style model car.

What an incredible opportunity for collaboration, and critical thinking across grade levels made possible by outside-the-box thinking and teaching of Foxcroft’s talented faculty.

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An all-girls boarding and day school in Northern Virginia, Foxcroft prepares young women in grades 9-12 for success in college and in life. Our outstanding academic program offers challenging courses, including Advanced Placement classes and an innovative STEM program. Our premiere equestrian program is nationally recognized, and our athletic teams have won conference and state championships. Experience the best in girls' boarding schools: visit Foxcroft.