MSA-West presented pottery molds

Staff Writer
Plaquemine Post South
Camryn Boudreaux, art teacher Christiana Cope, Anna Santana and Ashton Devillier work together on painting salt dough ornaments. Students created gifts for their parents and for tree decorations for Nottoway. Students in both elementary school and high school will be learning the art medium.

PLAQUEMINE - Plaquemine resident John Morgan toured the Performing Arts Theater at MSA-West recently and learned about the educational arts curriculum from Elvis J. Cavalier, Iberville Parish School System Chief Academic Officer.

Cavalier shared details of some of the offerings including dance, music, set design and a kiln for pottery.

Morgan then stopped him to ask where the school would get molds for the classes and Cavalier was thrilled to learn that John and his brother Matthew had more than 1,000 of their late father's pottery molds, one of many art mediums that the elder Morgan worked with through much of his life.

Morgan remembers his father spending hour after hour creating his own molds, shaping them, pouring them, perfecting them, firing them and then painstakingly painting them.

After he died, the molds lay dormant and his sons purchased them from the estate. When Morgan saw the kiln, he knew the molds could be used at the school for a great educational purpose and they donated more than 1,000 molds estimated to be worth more than $3,000 to the school art program.

"It took me two trips with a large truck to get all of the molds to school," Morgan said. "I knew that these would be wisely used for many years to come. It is a pleasure to give a gift so appreciated."

Morgan recently visited with Visual Arts teachers Christina Cope and Annelise Martinez to see the pottery program in action.

Earlier in the day, Cope and students made and decorated salt dough clay ornaments for a Christmas tree at Nottoway.

"The students first poured clay into ornament molds and then they had their work fired in the school's brand new kiln," Cope said. "The gift of the molds is so important to teaching pottery. Pottery classes are usually only taught in larger cities and can be expensive to take and hard to find."

The students then finished glazing their pieces, in the 1,750 degree kiln. Cope said it usually takes one full night for the kiln to cool down after glazing.

"The gift of the molds has added dimension to the art program and will be used regularly by the students," Cavalier said. "This is a gift that keeps on giving."