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PHOTOS: Henniker Community School’s artist-in-residence bring Japanese pottery skills to students

  • Smoke rises around Shana Brautigam, an artist-in-residence at Henniker Community School, as she lids the metal trash can she is using to fire Raku pottery outside the school on Thursday, February 20, 2014. Raku ware is a kind of Japanese pottery that is traditionally used in tea ceremonies. The process involves firing the glaze in a container filled with combustible material, in this case sawdust and hay. Brautigam is teaching the technique to sixth-graders at the school in conjunction with their social studies lessons that focus on Japan this year.   <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

    Smoke rises around Shana Brautigam, an artist-in-residence at Henniker Community School, as she lids the metal trash can she is using to fire Raku pottery outside the school on Thursday, February 20, 2014. Raku ware is a kind of Japanese pottery that is traditionally used in tea ceremonies. The process involves firing the glaze in a container filled with combustible material, in this case sawdust and hay. Brautigam is teaching the technique to sixth-graders at the school in conjunction with their social studies lessons that focus on Japan this year.

    (ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

  • An electric kiln heats the Raku vases to a red hot 1500 degrees at the Henniker Community School.<br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

    An electric kiln heats the Raku vases to a red hot 1500 degrees at the Henniker Community School.

    (ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

  • Jackson Ugarte, 11, carries over an unfired vase to place in the electric kiln. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

    Jackson Ugarte, 11, carries over an unfired vase to place in the electric kiln.

    (ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

  • Shana Brautigam, an artist-in-residence at Henniker Community School, pulls out a piece of finished Raku pottery from a trashcan filled with sawdust and hay, her temporary kiln, at the school on Thursday, February 20, 2014. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

    Shana Brautigam, an artist-in-residence at Henniker Community School, pulls out a piece of finished Raku pottery from a trashcan filled with sawdust and hay, her temporary kiln, at the school on Thursday, February 20, 2014.

    (ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

  • Smoke rises around Shana Brautigam, an artist-in-residence at Henniker Community School, as she lids the metal trash can she is using to fire Raku pottery outside the school on Thursday, February 20, 2014. Raku ware is a kind of Japanese pottery that is traditionally used in tea ceremonies. The process involves firing the glaze in a container filled with combustible material, in this case sawdust and hay. Brautigam is teaching the technique to sixth-graders at the school in conjunction with their social studies lessons that focus on Japan this year.   <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)
  • An electric kiln heats the Raku vases to a red hot 1500 degrees at the Henniker Community School.<br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)
  • Jackson Ugarte, 11, carries over an unfired vase to place in the electric kiln. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)
  • Shana Brautigam, an artist-in-residence at Henniker Community School, pulls out a piece of finished Raku pottery from a trashcan filled with sawdust and hay, her temporary kiln, at the school on Thursday, February 20, 2014. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

When she was in fifth grade, Shana Brautigam had a teacher that introduced her to the art of pottery. That early start pushed the artist to open her own studio by age 20 and at age 30, she’s using her craft to help the students at Henniker Community School in their lessons about the world. As one of the school’s artists-in-residence, Brautigam helped 50 sixth graders learn about the traditional Japanese art of Raku ware as part of their social studies curriculum that focuses on Japan this year. On Thursday morning, the kids helped fire the vases they made while working in teams using kilns set up in the school’s courtyard. They will have a tea ceremony with their finished products today.

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