What is the
alphabet of clay?
We realize that if clay can, in a matter of seconds, change from hard texture to powder and from powder to paint, an alphabet is hidden in it.
This is an alphabet that expresses transformation, flexibility, movement, symbiosis and variety. The different specificities of the alphabet give language to and guide the pedagogical processes located in this place and in the encounter with clay.
Clay is soft -Alejandro
It moves and stays still -Samara
It leaves footprints – Joaquín
It gives life – Samara
It lengthens and shrinks – Jonael
It splits, it breaks -Samara
It changes sizes – Jonael
It lets us make lines and draw – Olivia
As we work on the alphabet we notice that in the absence of water, the clay goes through another transformation process.
As it passes to a dry state, it’s difficult to mold. Its texture is hard.
We use mortars to create a different encounter: grinding the dry clay.
When clay is in contact with water, it dries completely.
We use mortars, making circular movements with the ‘maso’. Pressing our hands, little by little the clay breaks.
Our hands feel and touch the clay as it turns to dust. We observe its dustiness and the ways it moves and flows through space.
Little by little we become aware that we have a diversity of colours in front of us – colours that are quite attractive in their dusty form.
Creating clay powder takes a long time and we lose track of how much time passes. We work patiently to gather a large amount of coloured powder, taking care that it doesn’t blow away with the wind. We discover a completely new clay texture.
Now that clay is powdered, you can feel more its colours – Alejandro
Through the process of creating colours, we join the millenary history of colour-making and painting.
We keep tracing the dynamic transformations that clay embodies. We feel the emotions that spring when collectively creating something new.
We name the colours in relation to textures and flavours.
In this highly collective process, we stop to observe, smell, touch each colour.
STAR COLOUR / SOFT AND STICKY TEXTURE / GUANABANA FLAVOUR
PINK COLOUR /
SOFT AND PAPERY TEXTURE / WATERMELON FLAVOUR
BLUEBERRY RING COLOUR /
GRANITE TEXTURE / NARANJILLA FLAVOUR
ASH COLOUR /
CRUMBLE TEXTURE / STRAWBERRY FLAVOUR
COLOUR LUPITO /
POWDER TEXTURE / CHOCOLATE FLAVOUR
ROMPOPE COLOUR /
SOFT TEXTURE / COOKIE FLAVOUR
COLOUR ‘WHITEY’ CRUMB /
SOFT TEXTURE WITH BREAD CRUMBS / CHOCOLATE FLAVOUR
COCOA COLOUR / HARD TEXTURE WITH LARGE CRUMBS / NARANJILLA FLAVOUR
PINEAPPLE COLOUR /
STONE TEXTURE / PINEAPPLE FLAVOUR
FLORCITA COLOUR / SOFT AND HARD TEXTURE / STRAWBERRY FLAVOUR
COLOUR RED CRUMB / SOFT AND SANDY TEXTURE / BLUEBERRY FLAVOUR
As we name each clay color, we wonder what stories are hidden in these colours. In doing so, we think about colours as a perceptive phenomenon that is at the same time a cultural creation in which we participate.
CLAY COLOUR STORIES
Each colour hides a story, the children suggest.
What story does each colour of clay tell?
Each story invites us to travel in time, to the past and the future.
Each colour seems to hold and unlock our past as if it was a carrier of memory that engages our present towards a future to come.
The rompope colour tells the story of the hands, the shape they have. –Joaquín
The rompope colour tells the story of the letters. –Jonael
Once upon a time, the ash colour created the volcanoes, and when they erupted the ash colour came out and everyone could see it. – Olivia
The ash color tells the story of volcanoes. – Olivia
If the ash colour meets the blueberry ring, they tell the story of the earthquakes. –Alejandro.
The pink colour tells the story of the universe. Through these ideas we think about how the universe bathes in a sea of light that is seen and unseen, ancient and new.
All the planets, the moon and the sun were formed by the pink color. Look here they are all together in the universe because the pink colour brought them together. –Joaquín.
Colours assign the power to tell the interwoven stories of humans and animals.
The pineapple colour tells the story of the footprints.
Once upon a time there was a pig footprint that was found with other animal and human footprints. The pineapple colour allowed all footprints to form, those of the pig, cow, bird, horse, ants and more. – Samara.
WHITEY CRUMB COLOUR
The white crumb colour tells the story of how it helps the little duck to break the little egg. – Sander
The earthquakes happen when the earth moves very fast, and that’s where the cocoa colour makes the earth move and it created the earthquake. —Alejandro
As we continue to create stories about clay colours, we decide to design a clay journal where we can write our stories, colours, shapes, and relationships.
Clay colours tell the story of how clay changes shapes, and transforms into many things. – Samara.
This journal helps me remember everything that clay has taught us. –Samara
I will be able to write and draw everything about clay. – Olivia
While I draw with the colours of clay, I can continue to transform myself into her. –Jonael
Painting with clay colours becomes a subjective experience of transformation that takes form through the logics that clay offers.