a tree grows in wulai

If you followed along with my residency in Taiwan late last year, you may remember seeing me working with a group of kids at a school in the mountain town of Wulai outside of Taipei. We did a number of individual projects but we finished our time together working on a group project. Wulai is in the mountains with waterfalls, hot springs and lush foliage, so I thought it would be great to make a tree of our own for the the school. Each student picked leaves from their neighborhood and brought them to class to use to press into the clay, they carefully cut out each leaf and then they were glazed with a variety of natural colors.

a tree grows in wulai | the dirt | Jenni Ward ceramic sculpture

On our last class the students, teachers, the ceramic museum coordinators and myself worked together to assemble the tree in the school’s stairwell. I prepared the trunk and branches in advance using some landscaping cloth twisted into a wire mesh. The kids attached all the leaves and it was hoisted up to attach to the mesh wall of the stairwell. The kids were so proud of their work and the tree was a wonderful symbol of each of us working together to create something new. Photos of this project are now up on the website under the public art section of my portfolio.

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