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In this lesson, students will explore the work of ceramic artist Ehren Tool, who creates clay cups on the potter's wheel and embellishes them with military images. Tool gives away his cups and to date has given away over 14,000 in an attempt to provide a catalyst for conversations between veterans and those who have not served in the military. In this lesson, students will engage in research in order to gain what Tool describes as “war awareness,” a sense of those in their community who have performed military service in the past and a recognition of the Americans who are currently serving in the military and where they are stationed. Finally, students will make a ceramic form that features imagery of a chosen veteran or service person.

Grade level: 9-12

Episode: SERVICE


Download the Lesson Guide in PDF format HERE to get started in your classroom.

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SERVICE episode: Documenting craft and the military and the power of the handmade to inspire and heal

Ceramic artist & Marine Corp veteran Ehren Tool goes to Vietnam to make cups from red clay