Thursday, March 13, 2014

Mary the Protectoress

 Mary the Protectress .by Roman Kowal

 Teachers at The John Carroll School, a Catholic school in Bel Air, MD were asked to create a lesson in response to a movie we watched in school called "Girl Rising" that focused on the serious problems young girls face all over the world.  Our solution was to create an installation of icons of the Mary in her role of the Protectress. I found an image online of a stained-glass window from a Ukrainian orthodox church in Winnepeg ,Canada designed by Roman Kowal. A reproduction was copied onto paper then placed on a slab of clay. The image was traced onto the clay with pressure, then incised.
After bisque  firing  black glaze covered the image, getting into all the lines, then washed off leaving the incised  lines filled with glaze in a Japanese technique called Mishma. Then the image was colored with various glazes. Then glaze fired. After firing, the students wrote the Hail Mary on the back.   This was their first ceramic piece and covered a lot of different techniques. In the course of the lesson we also covered the purpose of icons, the life of Roman Kowal-artist, the situation of women in the world as well as current events in the Ukraine. We then covered a wall with over 50 icons. As you can see the lesson allowed for many skill levels and artistic choices even though the image was derived from one source.     

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