The Right Brain Initiative


Artist Details

Karie Oakes (Young Audiences)


Book this artist using the Residency Request Form


  • Students learn hand building and glazing methods to support their creative ideas.
  • Students think spatially to combine individual forms to make a cohesive project incorporating the elements and principles of art.
  • Students understand the scientific properties of clay and glaze and the firing process.
  • Students appreciate ceramics for it’s various uses, cultural differences and aesthetic qualities.
  • Students communicate their experiences using ceramic and art vocabulary and diligently apply skills to refine their work.


I want kids to experience clay because it is so different from mediums commonly used in the classroom. Clay is three-dimensional so it challenges kids to think, plan and create differently. They will think spatially and use basic hand building and modeling methods to translate their ideas into clay forms.


I began teaching clay 27 years ago at the Portland Children’s Museum where I grew to love children’s art and discovered the teacher in me. Since then I have pursued professional development opportunities to become a well-qualified teaching artist. I like to see kids learn by making discoveries through exploration. I find that if I can create curiosity, the kids awaken to what’s possible with clay. They begin to formulate questions and seek answers. They’re ready to learn and create. My underlying goal for schools is to plant a clay seed that will grow into a viable clay program.


Young Audiences teaching artists are committed to inspiring the imaginations of young people and have strategies for working with the complexities of school environments. Through a variety of ongoing professional development opportunities and a multi-faceted evaluation system, as well as through their experience with students and educators, Young Audiences teaching artists are continually growing as teachers and as artists.


3D Visual Arts,






Relief Tile

This popular residency is sculptural and yet maintains some two-dimensional character because it is a tile. It allows kids to begin to work “off the page.” I describe it as building a picture using clay.



Discover the dynamic qualities of clay in three-dimensional form. Be inspired to sculpt by any curriculum subject.



A scene from a story comes to life when students illustrate it using clay by combining slab, coil, pinch and modeling methods to make the setting and character(s).


Native American Storytelling Dolls or Coil Pots

Does the doll inspire the story or the story inspire the doll? Build a pot in the traditional coil method and embellish it with symbols. Ties to literacy and cultural curriculum.


Functional ware

Students will think critically of dishes having made one and used it. With lessons in functional design and aesthetic beauty, students will learn to appreciate the work and pottery of a village potter in contrast to industrial ware.


Installations–Permanent or not Experience collaboration at its best.

Design a site-specific installation created by original student work. Wall murals may be of relief tiles, mosaic, paint or a combination. Sculpture may embellish any space, including a totem.



Ties to literacy, science, social studies, health, math and art are all possible with a clay residency. Literacy skills are supported when students are inspired to create having read/written a story or poem. Some clay projects may lead them to research work and to keep a journal in which to plan and reflect on their work. They may present their work orally expressing art concepts and using appropriate vocabulary.


Since clay is a worldwide ancient art form, there are many ties to history and culture of people using clay. Tiled mosaics can connect to math. Clay and glaze by their very nature, and by the processing of them, are connected to science curriculum.


$70 per classroom session (50 minutes)/preparation hour/planning & reflection meetings.

Additional costs may apply for installation, firing, equipment rental, and materials.

Travel Costs: Travel costs will apply to commute time greater than 40 minutes one-way.



Questions? Contact your Right Brain Coach.


(503) 225-5900 x231




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