David Stabley Story-Telling Plate

In this lesson, students were introduced to the work of David Stabley, a contemporary ceramic artist.  Students learned about Stabley’s method of working in clay and the non-traditional surface treatments he uses on his pieces.    They learned about the imaginary and dream-like worlds that Stabley explores and expresses in his work.

We also discussed and observed examples of how art and ceramics has played an important role in history.  Art has been used as a medium to capture and tell stories for thousands of years.  From Ancient Greek vessels to contemporary pedestal pieces by David Stabley, artists and cultures across time have depicted their surroundings, historical events, wars, and myths on the surfaces of their ceramics.

Students developed their composition by researching images and sketching their ideas. Then they created their own unique story-telling plate working in the style of the artist.  This project encouraged students to practice the techniques and clay skills used in creating low relief sculpture.  They used additive, subtractive, and sunken relief, as well as lots of surface decoration and texture to depict their images.  After the plates are fired, students “black-out” the plate using acrylic paint.  They then slowly build up layers of color using patinas (oil-based metallic paints, applied by rubbing the surface) and additional acrylic paint to enhance their images.

David Stabley Grading Sheet 2011_ Landry