3Fun by the 3Fund: A Look into Clay with Ben Galaday
Hello! I’m Ben Galaday, the Clay Teacher at PS3. Starting in 2019, I now see all K-5 students in
two week cycles. Stephanie the wonderful Art Teacher and I share the classes, splitting them
into two groups. I fire the ceramic projects usually twice (first bisque fire and then one glaze
firing) using the two kilns at PS3. Other than the firing, the class is completely hands-on for the
students, a “studio” class in which every person gets to physically hand-build their own work.
So far this year we have completed three projects and have just begun our fourth - “Creatures +
Characters”, an individual “take-home” project in which students create any type of
creature/character that interests them (human, animal, insect, robot, unicorn, monster, etc.)
Everyday is either a “build day” or a “glaze day”, unless we have just finished a project in which
case we spend the class time looking and talking about the finished product and our experience
making, noting what building techniques and glaze combinations were successful, challenging,
etc. With our free time we make Monster Cards, a homemade, hand-drawn storytelling card
game that is swiftly engaging the imagination of the PS3 community.
Other projects we’ve completed are “Super World” in which students created miniature
landscapes of an environment of their choosing that could then be joined with others to become
a board game of sorts. Next we began working on a mosaic of “Nature Tiles” - Springtime
themed reliefs of insects, lizards, flowers, etc. with the intention of installing as a mural on the
fifth floor of PS3 (this project will be ongoing until we install the work.) Our third project was the
collaborative “Maze City '' where students created architectural elements such as walls,
archways, bridges, towers, trapdoors, secret passageways, etc. which were then assembled to
create a sprawling labyrinthine urban “dungeon crawl” inspired diorama (currently on display in
the basement of PS3.)
Originally from Portland, OR, I have 15 years experience teaching art to kids in various
mediums and settings (most recently at Textile Art Center in Brooklyn.) I hold a BFA in Ceramics
and an MFA in studio Art/Sculpture. I currently live in Brooklyn with my partner and when I’m not
teaching at PS3 I am usually working on my own sculptures which are frequently ceramic/plushy
My hope is to foster an environment that encourages an interest and strength in creative
problem solving, spatial and sensory intelligence through tactile experience, the kind of self
confidence and courage in the face of the unknown that comes from creative activity, and to
develop and appreciate one’s own, one-of-a-kind, personal vision and voice.
Giving to P.S. 3
P.S. 3 PTA fundraising efforts bring so much value and enrichment to our students and offer essential support to our teachers and school. Our school has a long history of providing a comprehensive arts curriculum which fosters independent thinking, self confidence, academic achievement, a love of learning and a life-long passion for the arts. The funds we raise as a community through the 3FUND, our annual direct fundraising appeal and other events throughout the year, provide additional arts educational programming in music, clay, science as well as provide essential teaching assistants, teacher development, professional training, school supplies and much, much more.
Why the 3FUND?
Donating money to the 3FUND is the most direct & cost-effective way of putting your family donation to work for our school. This year, the P.S. 3 PTA is projected to spend circa $700 per child - to pay for the planned academic activities and creative programs that enrich, support & supplement your child’s learning. With your help, we hope to raise over two-thirds of the entire PTA budget for the year through the 3FUND. The balance of funds needed to meet our budget will be raised via other fundraising events throughout the rest of the year.
We encourage each and every family to participate in the campaign so that we reach our goal and attract external donors who offer matches to communities with healthy participation rates. We understand that in this difficult and challenging year many families have been affected financially by the pandemic and giving at previous levels will not be possible. No amount is too great or too small. Every dollar counts and your gift will impact your child’s education and growth. Our goal is 100% participation so please give what you and your family can afford. Thank you!
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