Ceramics project celebrates the wonders of coral reefs - Portsmouth High School

Ceramics project celebrates the wonders of coral reefs

Girls in Year 8 worked collaboratively to create an incredible coral reef model.

The project was inspired by the work of environmental artist Courtney Mattison. The Colorado based artist studied marine biology and ceramic sculpture at college and dedicated her artistic career to creating intricately detailed ceramic sculptural works to celebrate the fragile beauty of coral reefs. Mattison is now an ocean advocate working to inspire policymakers and the public to conserve our changing seas.

The class started their project by looking at photographs of the shapes and form found on real living reefs. They then modelled them in clay and worked together to form a miniature reef. The final piece was fired in the kiln and small fish were added using wire bringing the model to life.

Teacher Mrs Forbes said ‘The class have embraced this project with such enthusiasm and have enjoyed working collaboratively. They now have an enhanced understanding of the real-life coral reef structure as well as learning about the ceramics techniques required to create a project of this type.’

What the girls said…

‘Collaborating with the rest of the class on this project was interesting because we had to discuss who was going to make each piece to make the reef complete. It was enjoyable making the individual elements and seeing how they fitted together at the end.’

‘Courtney Mattison’s work was very inspiring and I had a lot of fun working with my friends as a team and I would love to do this again.’

‘I loved making the coral reef as it was fun to do lots of little pieces and learn new techniques whilst developing our teamwork. I feel very proud of what we have achieved and cannot wait to do ceramics again next year.’

‘I really enjoyed making and designing the coral reef and fish. The final product was simply amazing.’