Parks and Rec. breaks the mold

By: Amy Filippone, Department of Parks & Recreation

Working with clay is a great creative outlet for children that can improve motor skill development and the ability to focus. The Moorestown Parks and Recreation Department will be offering a six-week introduction to pottery class for boys and girls in third through sixth grades. It will be held on the third floor of the Church Street Recreation center on Mondays from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m, starting on Oct. 7 through Nov. 11.

The class will focus on the fundamental concepts of ceramics: slab building, hand building and coil techniques. Each week, a new project will be introduced that will explore a technique as well as painting a previous week’s work. Students will complete multiple pieces over the six-week course.

“I’ll make a few things ahead of time before the first class so they have things paint-ready from day one,” Tracie Muhr, the instructor, said. “I want them to jump right in and be able to paint something simple so that the next week when they get it back, they’ll have an idea of how the paint looks after glazing and firing. The paint color is called red, but when you apply it, it’s a dull pastel color, and then when you fire it with the clear glaze it comes out cherry red - beautiful, shiny red. Each week I’ll give them three different choices for a project and they can choose one or do whatever they want. I don’t want to have everything too structured.”

Tracie Muhr studied art at the University of Mary where she earned a BS in scientific illustration and has a masters of science in medical illustration. She spent ten years illustrating medical textbooks and worked at Jefferson in their medical media department. Muhr also worked at NFL films for many years as a graphic artist and continues to freelance there. Her artistic curiosity has led her in many directions from paper-making, to glass blowing, jewelry making and pottery.

 “I always wanted to go back to something hands on because my illustration work was pen and ink, carbon dusting, airbrushing and watercolor and then I went right into computers and I was missing that a lot,” Muhr said. “Four years ago, I picked up pottery and I just love it. You end up with something unexpected - it’s freeing. I’m very excited for this. I think it’s going to be a lot of fun. It’ll be fun to work with kids who want to do it, and I can’t wait to give them opportunities to paint and create their own unique pieces.”

Please visit www.moorestownrec.com for full details and to register.