Reunion Island and CeramicsTraditional Crafts Across EuropeComenius Project 2010-2012
Reunion Island is a French island in the south-western Indian Ocean and part of the Mascarene Islands (or Mascarenhas Archipelago) approximately 700 kilometres east of Madagascar
With a surface of 2 512 square kilometres, the island has a rugged landscape due to irregular and profound erosion. Piton des Neiges, the highest peak, is 3 071 metres high and is home to one of the most active volcanoes in the world: Piton de la Fournaise. Piton de la Fournaise
This volcanic island, still young geologically, was born about three million years ago. Living organisms developed on ground composed of basalt and disintegrated basalt remains from successive eruptions.
This explains why ceramics in Reunion Island are done with imported clay and have only recently started. Nevertheless, as part of some advanced research in fire arts, an unlikely combination of clayey earth and basaltic ground leads to the creation of original and very beautiful works of art.
As part of the Comenius project activities, the grade 10-5 pupils at Ambroise Vollard Senior High School in Saint Pierre discovered ceramics.
Thanks to a partnership with the artists at the Fire Arts Centre in Saint Joseph, directed by Mr Claude Berlie-Caillat, and under the guidance of Mr David Léon Gimenez, the pupils were able to discover the various techniques for fabricating ceramics cooking utensils and crockery.
The coiling technique starts with long coils of clay rolled to make sausages which are then assembled to make an object.
Clay modeling starts with a small ball of clay and is a method similar to sculpting.
But the technique that was the most popular in our workshops was the potter’s wheel, much more difficult to master but so captivating!
Whatever the technique, these activities, unusual in a senior high school, have stimulated the development of each pupil’s creativity in a studious and relaxed setting. They might even lead to certain career choices…
The grade 10-5 class Ambroise Vollard Senior High SchoolReunion Island 2010-2011
LGT Ambroise VOLLARD3, Avenue de Soweto - Terre SainteBP 399 - 97448 Saint Pierre cedexTél : 0262 962350 - Fax : 0262 962357 Site: http://www.ac-reunion.fr/pedagogie/lyc%Da.vollard/