The individual pieces of a two-part art project by Canyon-Lister Elementary School’s Grade 4/5 class may have gone home, but the entire collection has been preserved in the form of a book.
Under the instruction of Wynndel artist Sandy Kunze, students created clay masks inspired by stories they wrote.
“Some of them did not necessarily turn out as planned, and they had to readjust their ideas and readjust their stories,” said teacher Brian Ewashen.
“I really liked the part where we made the story,” said Cameron Nelson, whose story was about the half-human half-frog Frogman. “It gave us the use of some imagination so we could have a better idea for our mask.”
With the use of special tools, the masks could be changed during the sculpting process, explained Clayton Bjarnason, who added a beard, a mustache, a nose, eyebrows and eyes to his.
Each student enjoyed a different part of the creative process.
“I was happy about deciding how I was going to make it,” said Marlise Tessman. “It reminded me of my family and my dog, Panda. I like how Emma Penner helped paint it.”
“I liked when you fired it and got to see it firing in the pot,” said Laila Currie, referring to the raku process by which some pieces were fired; others were fired in a kiln.
Kyla Blackmore took a different approach and wrote her story after her mask was created.
“It was easier to make the story after the mask,” she said.
The finished masks were displayed at Morris Flowers during Focus on Youth, which ran in April, allowing many people to see the diverse selection — one based on Calgary Flames goalie Mikka Kiprusoff’s mask, a Muppet, one with a broken nose and tattoo, and one with a scratch that came from a fight in the story.
The students agreed that the experience of creating the stories and masks was a good one.
“The energy we put into the masks was good energy,” said Olivia Kettle.
Copies of the book are $35, and orders can be placed by calling Canyon-Lister Elementary School at 250-428-4161.