Grosse Pointe art teacher inspired by Paula Tutman’s ceramic series shows students how to make tiles

GROSSE POINT, Mich. – The covid pandemic has inspired many of us to find new ways to relieve stress.

Local 4’s Paula Tutman shared her journey with art and how it has helped her stay mentally and emotionally healthy.

She used clay.

Becoming one with clay is a gift, an art, an exploration and a journey into the world of relaxation through creativity.

When we invited everyone to become a WDIV 4 Insider and join our exclusive series on ceramics as COVID stress relief therapyLiggett University School in Big Point was watching.

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Karen Katanik has an art class and for 35 years she has guided the hands and imaginations of her students, but this year it’s her swansong as she retires.

As a lasting legacy, she and her students will transform a common space and adorn the fireplace with the fire of handcrafted tiles.

It turns out that Ms. Katanik and her class followed and mirrored Paula Tutman’s series of ceramics.

Look: Paula Tutman: How learning ceramics helped me deal creatively with COVID

“Knowing you’re a beginner makes things more comfortable,” said Morgan, who is a college student. “It feels like trial and error and just experimenting with new things, and if it works, it works, and if it doesn’t, you stop and rethink.”

The class is embarking on a journey with all of our other WDIV initiates on our way to do something virtually together that we have never done before.

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“It’s my freshman year in high school, and it’s a great way to start my first art elective; and I love doing the tiles because it’s super relaxing and kind of a way to get away from it all,” said Lydia, who is a student.

“When I first started doing it, I was a little nervous because I’m not the best at drawing,” Morgan said.

Teenage ingenuity shines through when students use their mobile phones to find images to transfer to clay.

“So I find like an inspiration image, then I trace the clay tile that I use, then I trace the image,” Morgan said.

Look: How Paula Tutman Used Art to Stay Mentally and Emotionally Healthy

The sweetness of discovery and experimentation is delicious.

“It’s like a tree that I drew with mountains in the background,” said Kelsey, a student in the class.

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The part of getting through COVID together is so empowering.

“I made a cheetah, and he’s laying on a tree, and then I just put a bunch of plants around him,” said Elyse, another student in the class.

“Every time you start indenting on it, you’re sort of determining your path because you’re sketching it, and you really have no idea what exactly you’re going to do,” said fellow student Ian. of style. .

“So when Ian is a father and his kids come to our school, he can say ‘this is a project I contributed this tile to’,” said class teacher Karen. “So it’s not just my legacy, but it’s their legacy as well.”

“I think it’s super dope,” said Olivia, another student in the class. “I love Mrs. K, and I’m sad that she’s leaving, but I think it’s going to be a really great piece, and I’m glad she does.”

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