beauty and nature forms of the twentieth gift
clay on walls

friedrich froebel, who devised a system of educational activities for young children that became the basis of the modern kindergarten, had a specific sequence of tools/toys that he would introduce to the children, along with a set of maneuvers or tasks to master with each one. he called these ʻgiftsʼ, and they included a ball of string, geometric shapes and forms, needle and thread, and other simple materials. the sequence included twenty gifts, and the twentieth was modeling clay. froebel encouraged the students to arrange the materials to create geometric designs and to represent the beauty and structure of shapes and forms found in nature. these drawings have been created directly on gallery walls with casting slip, a form of liquid clay. the series has also led to two related works, one in gold leaf and another in clay-covered papier-mache.

copyright Geoffrey L Grace 2013

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