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Summit Hill Elementary Art EDventures. “Turning and Burning” 2nd Grade/Social Studies Appalachian Plateau Lanier Meaders Brought to you by S.H.E. PTA. PLEASE NOTE: This presentation is to be used for educational purposes only. Do not reproduce. Meet Lanier Meaders.

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Summit Hill Elementary Art EDventures

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Summit hill elementary art edventures

Summit Hill ElementaryArt EDventures

“Turning and Burning”

2nd Grade/Social Studies

Appalachian Plateau

Lanier Meaders

Brought to you by S.H.E. PTA

PLEASE NOTE: This presentation is to be used for educational purposes only. Do not reproduce.


Meet lanier meaders

Meet Lanier Meaders

One of America’s most famous folk potters.

1917 - 1998


Appalachian plateau

Appalachian Plateau

  • There’s a special place you should know about. It’s called the Appalachian Plateau. This area includes the second largest mountain system in the United states called the Appalachian Mountains and it stretches all the way from New York to Alabama!

    (hit enter)

  • A small part of it even runs through Georgia. (hit enter)

  • It was also birthplace and home to a very unique potter named Lanier Meaders, (pronounced Medders)

    who was born in 1917 in Mossy Creek, Georgia. (hit enter)


The appalachian way

The Appalachian Way

  • Like Meaders family, most of the people in Appalachia were pioneers who moved from places like Ireland and Scotland. When they tried to cross the Appalachian ridges, they found the mountains to be 4,000 ft. high!

  • So, they decided to settle in remote, out-of-the-way, small mountain communities to farm, craft, and mine coal, which was abundant in mountains.

  • Because Appalachia was far from modern cities, the people had to be self sufficient. They made their own houses, raised their own food and created their own entertainment. Their culture was unique. It produced Bluegrass Music and Folk Art. (hit enter)


Father to son to grandson

Father To Son, To Grandson…

  • For instance, Appalachian people often created raw art from their imagination with no schooling or training. This is called Folk Art.

  • Folk Art is typically passed down from one generation to another.

  • For example, Lanier Meaders learned how to make pottery from his father, Cheever… (enter)

  • …who learned the trade from his father, John. (enter)


Summit hill elementary art edventures

Grandpa John

  • In the early days (1892), when Grandpa John was alive, potters were just as important to a community as a blacksmith or wagon maker. In fact, without pottery, no one could keep the food they needed to get through the winter.

  • When there wasn’t a lot of money around, potters would trade their work for whatever people had to offer like a couple of chickens or a bag of beans.

  • Later, when glass and tin were easier to get, the need for pottery dwindled. Eventually, most of the pottery shops in the Appalachian Mountain states closed.

Pottery was used to preserve food in the 1800’s.


Summit hill elementary art edventures

Papa Cheever

  • However, when Lanier’s dad, Cheever was young (1930’s), new highways were built through parts of the Appalachian Mountains that never had access before.

  • Tourists traveling these highways “discovered” the handmade Appalachian pottery and loved it; breathing life back into the art form and the Meader’s family business.


Lanier s turn and burn

Lanier’s “Turn and Burn”

  • Lanier kept the Meader’s pottery tradition going and insisted on doing things the old-fashioned way.

  • He worked in a simple workshop made of logs. (hit enter)

  • Dug up clay from the riverbank on his land.

  • Used a foot-powered potter’s wheel to hand-form every piece. (hit enter)

  • Applied a shiny glaze by hand. (hit enter)

  • Fired the pieces in a simple wood-fired brick kiln. (hit enter)

  • He felt it was important to preserve these old methods called “turning and burning.”

Meaders’ Log Workshop

“Burning” In The Wood Fired Kiln

Applying Glaze

“Turning” on a potters wheel.


Face jugs

Face Jugs

  • He even revived an old-time mountain tradition of pottery called “face jugs.” He learned how to make them from his dad, who called them “whimseys,” and a waste of time. Face jugs were used to keep children away from things in the kitchen.

  • They were told: “If you drink what’s in the jug, your face will look like THIS!”

Would YOU drink from one of these?


Face jugs made famous

Face Jugs Made Famous

  • When Lanier was 38 years old, the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC was looking for folk artists to include in the first Festival of American Folk Life.

  • They choose his face jugs to be part of the festival. His work became famous and is still on display today!

  • (enter)

  • Lanier was also given Georigia’s prestigious Governor’s Award for his art.

  • Then, he became the best known Folk potter in the country.(hit enter)


Keeping the culture

Keeping The Culture

Lanier helped preserve this art form and the Georgia pottery tradition is alive and well today!

Thankfully, face jugs have become very popular and highly collectable! (hit enter)

Many artists today still make them!


Art edventures sample

Art EDventures Sample

  • Now it’s your turn be an Appalachian Folk Artist like Lanier Meaders.

So Let’s Play In The MUD!

Face Jug


Project art edventures

Project Art EDventures

Your Jug

  • You should each have a plastic cup. That will become your jug!

    Draw The Paw

  • Tip it up-side-down and use a Sharpie to sign your name and “Draw the Paw” on the bottom of your cup. This will let others know your face jug is an Art EDventures creation.

    Your Clay

  • First, you will need some brown Model Magic-that’s your clay.

    Turning Time

  • Take half and cover the outside of your jug. Be gentle so you don’t break the plastic! Smooth a thin layer all they way around with your hands, going just over the lid. Do not cover the inside of the cup or you will run out of clay!

Funny or Frightening Face?

  • Once your cup is covered, use the remaining clay to form facial features such as ears, eyes, nose, etc. Face jugs are famous for their ugly features, so don’t make a pretty one!

    Forming Features

  • You can pinch the clay to form shapes like noses or ears or roll it between the palms of your hands to make “coils” to use for lips or eyebrows. Roll it into balls to make eyes.

  • Gently press the shapes into the clay on the cup. Be creative and HAVE FUN!

    Burning Time

  • You don’t have to bake or “burn” this clay in a kiln. It will dry in the air and soon you will have your very own face jug. (But don’t drink out of it!) What sorts sort of things will you keep in it?


Supply list

Supply List

  • Plastic cups---one per child

  • Crayola Model Magic modeling clay in earth tone. Each child should have 2 ounces of the clay (one half of a package).

  • Sharpies for signing names on the bottom of the cups


G p s ties

G.P.S. Ties

SS2G1 The student will locate major topographical features of Georgia and will describe how these features define Georgia’s surface.a. Locate all the geographic regions of Georgia: Blue Ridge Mountains, Piedmont, Coastal Plain, Valley and Ridge, and Appalachian Plateau.b. Locate the major rivers: Ocmulgee, Oconee, Altamaha, Savannah, St. Mary’s, Chattahoochee, and Flint.


Summit hill elementary art edventures

Art EDventuresMade possible with your donations to S.H.E.’s PTA

Art EDventuresMade possible with your donations to S.H.E.’s PTA

  • Dear Mom, Dad or Caretaker,

  • Today we learned about an Appalachian Folk Artist named Lanier Meaders. In fact, he is the most famous folk art potter in the country. He is best known for his funny looking face jugs.

  • Lanier’s father and grandfather were also potters. In Appalachia, a long time ago when Lanier’s Grandpa was alive, potters were as important to a community as Black Smith or Wagon maker. And, when people didn’t have a lot of money, they would trade things like chickens and beans for his pottery.

  • We also learned about the Appalachian Plateau and the Scotch-Irish settlers that live in the area. Ask me what kind of music comes from Appalachia!

  • Take a look at the face jug I made-it’s supposed to be UGLY!!!

  • Dear Mom, Dad or Caretaker,

  • Today we learned about an Appalachian Folk Artist named Lanier Meaders. In fact, he is the most famous folk art potter in the country. He is best known for his funny looking face jugs.

  • Lanier’s father and grandfather were also potters. In Appalachia, a long time ago when Lanier’s Grandpa was alive, potters were as important to a community as Black Smith or Wagon maker. And, when people didn’t have a lot of money, they would trade things like chickens and beans for his pottery.

  • We also learned about the Appalachian Plateau and the Scotch-Irish settlers that live in the area. Ask me what kind of music comes from Appalachia!

  • Take a look at the face jug I made-it’s supposed to be UGLY!!!

Lanier Meaders

Lanier Meaders

Face Jug

Face Jug


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