Mud. It’s Not Just For Pie Making

Ooey gooey, messy, slimy,  shapeless wet dirt. It can be quite entertaining and a whole lot of fun, but  what is this stuff good for, really? Well, far more than I had realized! After  visiting the Marvelous Mud, Clay Around the World exhibit at the Denver Art Museum, I have a whole new appreciation for  this wonder of a natural resource.

Because our kids tend to be high energy and have less of an attention span than we’d prefer while trying to  appreciate art in a museum, we usually leave the kids behind…but I absolutely want for my children to develop a love for the arts, so, when I heard about this  summer’s mud exhibit, I was excited to take the opportunity to introduce the  kids to the museum – and to dirty, messy, lovely, artistic, timeless, Marvelous  Mud!

A studio option, the day we visited Marvelous Mud, was wheel pottery. Si and Noelle had the choice to handbuild or use the potter’s wheel – not a tough decision for my kids. They were able to create their own masterpiece on the wheel ~ with the assistance of a trained professional. They learned the basic concepts of forming and shaping pottery from clay and the method used to harden the clay in the kiln. They also explored the many types of glaze and the various appearances as the liquid solidifies during the firing process. The entire lesson was quite intriguing to both kids and they loved the fact that they got to “play in the mud.”

The most fantastic part of this experience was that the kids didn’t even realize that they were learning, hands-on, about the many uses of mud. We even took a little tour of some of the main museum displays (can be risky with my four-year-old) and the kids seemed to understand that the different types of art all had one thing in common: mud. That seemed to make the tour very interesting…for the limited time they could handle themselves, wink.

If your kids are as active as mine, I think you’ll appreciate this interactive and explorative learning opportunity…disguised as plain ol’ messy fun! Don’t miss the Marvelous Mud exhibit this summer at the Denver Art Museum!

Check out the great list of special events:

José Antonio
Mateos Suárez & Fernando Jimon Melchor: Tonalá Painting

July 16–17

Robyn Gray:
Silkscreen, Assembly

July 23–24

Gayla Lemke:
Large-scale Hand-building & Carving

July 30–31 & August 6–7

Janey Skeer:
Hand-building & Clay Stamps

August 13–14 & August 20–21

Bob Smith:
Potter’s Wheel

August 27–28

Shelley Schreiber:
Wheel-thrown, Assembled & Hand-built

September 3–4

Maynard Tischler:
Hand-building & Molds

September 10–11 & September 17–18



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