1. Description of Our Community
Potteries are the footprints the ancients have to prove the existence of their unique and irreplaceable lifestyle once took place in the community. Potteries are the gifts ancients have to us to continue the perfect inheritance of what their ancestors made for the community. Potteries are the linkage the ancients have between us to let us not forget the beautiful community. Through the elegant or useful pottery artifacts, we can surely understand and shape the appearance of the ancient Chinese and Taiwanese communities. Thus, it’s more important for the people in this era to see those potteries and preserve them, it’s the time for a rebirth of pottery artifacts, that is, a Pottery Renaissance.
2. Summary of Our Project
From the Neolithic age, pottery has played a huge role in our daily life. The decorations on these potteries have revealed stories of ancient people. However, the pottery-making technique is near its disappearance, as young people are no longer interested in this career. Through this project, we aim to enable more people to understand the history, technology, and importance of pottery, further take action to preserve our ancestor’s greatest wisdom and heritage.
3. Our Computer and Internet Access
A. Percentage of students using the Internet at home:more than 50%
B. Number of workstations with Internet access in the classroom:more than 6
C. Connection speed used in the classroom:dedicated connection
D. Number of years our classroom has been connected to the Internet:more than 6
4. Problems We Had To Overcome
Throughout the whole project, we have to do a lot of research, interviews, and different kind of meetings to get the final result we have right now. First starting with our research, most people don't have the basic idea or concept about pottery, including me, so the researching step is really important. It allows us to know more about the materials, traditional ways, different kinds of pottery works, etc. This creates a small problem since what the internet has is limited and sometimes not credible. So even with research, we might not have the right idea about all the pottery, so with the basic knowledge, we interviewed the curator and the pottery masters in the museum. Reaching and arranging a time for all of us had been a problem that we faced since there were about 10 people. With the help of the curator and others, we were able to finish the interviews which gave us a large amount of information and confirms with some of our own knowledge about pottery. Moreover, getting to meet up for discussions of ideas during our summer break had been a painful thing to do since most of us don’t have any extra hours for this. Most people planned their summer breaks long before the project formed so we also did a lot of last-minute adjustments before each meeting. We all learned a lot through this project even with all the unexpected problems faced, we got to know more about Taiwan culture and traditional ways.
5. Our Project Sound Bite
Our project covers the history of pottery, the process of creating a pottery work, the famous pottery museum in Taiwan, interviews with professionals, and, finally, survey analysis. From how potteries starting from a tool slowly transforming into art shapes to how pottery play a part in Taiwanese culture and shape who we are today. From a piece of clay on the ground beneath our feet to a container. From the past to current days, pottery slowly fades away because people only notice fancier technologies. From the problems we face, our team found a solution to raise awareness and to remind Taiwanese and the rest of the world how important pottery is. Our project is more than a brief introduction about pottery nor is it just a guide book recording the steps to create such a beautiful thing, beyond what we can see—it’s about the spirit and wisdom our ancestors have left for us to appreciate and feel.
6. How did your activities and research for this CyberFair Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?
Aiming to reach a better understanding about pottery art, our team collaborated with each other, solving conflicts and coming up with diverse ideas from time to time. Through the project of Cyberfair, our team not only gained knowledge about pottery, but also learned several skills such as data analysis, planning skills, editing, interviewing, how to include aesthetics into our websites, and many more. Utilizing the technology and resources, we use our information from both the internet and the interview to express our acknowledgement for pottery. One of the native cultures of Taiwan is pottery, which makes our topic even more crucial for the audience, since not many know much about this type of art. In order to reach this same purpose, our team had to become teamworkers as well as critical thinkers. Even if each member has a different opinion for the same topic, we learned that all must embrace their thoughts and think in their point of view, even just for once. This project could not be complete without anyone of the team, which means that each person has their responsibility towards this topic. For example, everyone had to think hard about meaningful questions in depth for the interviews and to learn how to organize big chunks of information into smaller pieces that are easier to understand. By interviewing the National Yingge Museum, our team learned how to interview someone formally and work together to complete a full video as well as come up with reasoning for this activity. With that being said, the Cyberfair project has been an incredible opportunity for each member, since it taught us abilities schools could not provide as well as help promote pottery culture to the world.
1) What information tools & technologies did you used to complete your CyberFair project?
Due to the pandemic, many things have to be digitalized. From the moment we decide to start this project, we had to use Google Meet to communicate. We used Google Forms to conduct a survey about the public’s understanding of pottery art. With the interviewee’s consent, we used the camera on our phones to record our findings and publish videos on our website. We used LINE to schedule interview times with experts and coordinate our work with one another. The video editing app DaVinci Resolve was also used to make our entertaining and informative videos. To code for the website, we used Visual Studio Code as the text editor and used frameworks such as Bootstrap and jQuery to simplify our workflow. With last year’s experience, we wrote our own simple site generator to save us the tedious process of editing the navbar on multiple pages, EZHTML.
2) In what ways did you act as "ambassadors" and spokespersons for your CyberFair project both on-line and in person.
Our team researched on topics about pottery beforehand to reach a further understanding of the culture and the beauty of art. After reaching to a certain degree of apprehension, we reached out to the Yingge Ceramic Museum, hoping to interview its curator and Master Zhan. Then, our team went to the museum to interview these people in person, watching several pottery-making performances as well. Our questions for the interviewee were designed meticulously, which gave us a more concrete insight about pottery. Through the Cyberfair project, our team aims to let more people know about pottery and the problems this art is starting to face, such as raising awareness for the crisis of inheritance. Using our website and videos, our team promotes pottery art throughout the world, helping them get in contact with pottery industry even more.
3) What has been the impact of your project on your community?
We are currently living in a world where technology dominates every industry, whether it’s the car that people drive on roads to the little things we use daily like cups, are resulting products of technological advances in society. Especially in our community, our school is located in Taipei, the major city of Taiwan, trade is flourishing and cultures are diversified within this community. However, people living here also tend to be blinded by greed and all the economic and political opportunities they can deprive from. People here prefer new things that seem to be prevalent and this so-called “fashion” in one’s perspective. The consensus here is that people are enjoying high standards of living and all the convenience they could possibly receive, but to me people here lost motivation to enjoy an aesthetic life. Our project not only reminds people of art and the concept of traditional beauty, but also a way of carrying out the idea “back to basics.” Without all the technology, without all the convenience, without all the gorgeous building we see everywhere here, can we still manage to live a high quality life? Our project is leading people into a journey of art, as ceramics is the basis of all human history. We want people to feel their inner-feeling, like how they worked for a whole day and when learned to observe ceramics in museum, it can be somewhat relieving to their minds. Rather than physical benefits like wealthier and more new cars, we aim for mental aspects such as happiness and a slow pace life style for our busy community.
4) How did your project involve other members of your community as helpers and volunteers?
When we conducted research for our project, it was necessary for us to seek help from the professionals of this particular topic. For example, we interviewed the curator of the Yingge Pottery Museum, who gladly shared her knowledge and vision of the history and future of the pottery culture in Taiwan. Not only did she described her past experience in maintaining the museum, including how she maintained the hardware and promoted the interaction of pottery masters from different countries, but also explained the methods she currently uses to make pottery culture appealing to local citizens, such establish a “dynamic museum”, in which exhibits can travel to more rural areas and educate more people. By doing so, she is acting as a helper that preserves the culture of Taiwanese pottery, as well as an ambassador that promotes our local artworks to an international level. In addition, we interviewed a Taiwanese pottery master and watched him demonstrate the traditional methods of producing pottery. Throughout his career, he has been trying to preserve the ancient ways in which the Taiwanese ancestors produce pottery. When he allowed us to investigate about his experience of creating pottery, he was simultaneously protecting our culture and helping with the continuation of ancient traditions.
5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)
Pottery is a major aspect in the history of Taiwanese art, yet Taiwanese people are typically uneducated about this culture. Our team, too, did not have much knowledge about the development and methods of creating pottery, and therefore we learnt quite a lot from our research. For example, we learnt that there are actually several types of pottery, which need specific temperatures, clay material, glazes, and other environmental conditions individually to be produced properly. We also learned about the most traditional ways in which Taiwanese pottery masters and their ancestors created potteries. Although the ancient ways are much more strenuous and exhausting, they carry hundreds of years of wisdom and knowledge from our ancestors. Therefore, we realized that it is incredibly important to preserve the spirits of our unique and magnificent culture, motivating us to explore much more deeply into the world of Taiwanese pottery. This experience was certainly an exciting and inspiring one, and we hope to spread our knowledge of this culture to more people in the future.
View our CyberFair Project
(Project ID: 8636)