Posted by: dbjaquith | May 9, 2016

More and More Clay

Clay1We are up to our ears in clay artwork and it is fabulous! As the pieces come out of the kiln they are sorted class by class. Sculpture surfaces are decorated with watercolor; functional pottery is covered with glaze and returned to the kiln for one more firing. Every time the kiln is opened it is full of surprises. Clay2

A second-grader's first attempt with glaze.

A second-grader’s first attempt with glaze.

Even kindergartners can appreciate the tricky nature of clay. Too little water and it cracks; too much water and it can break apart. With lots of play and practice students learn what clay can and cannot do. Observing fired pieces shows clay artists what steps are necessary for kiln-ready clay: score attachments, hollow out thick parts, smooth cracks, names on bottom. As skills grow students are able to take more responsibilities with the clay studio, including cutting clay, labeling names and wiping down tables.

A first grader makes a frog in the water.

A first grader makes a frog in the water.

A special structure for Mothers Day.

A special structure for Mothers Day.

Two ladybugs lovingly created by a first grader.

Two ladybugs lovingly created by a first grader.


Responses

  1. When the students watercolor, do you have them put ModPodge or an acrylic sealer on top? Do they wrap them up to take them home?

    • If the student wants a shiny surface treatment they can paint acrylic medium on top of the watercolor after it has dried. Usually they just want to take their clay art home right away so they do not seal the watercolor. I wrap clay for grades K-2 in newspaper; students in grades 3-5 wrap their own clay. If it is not wrapped the clay art often reappears in my room for repairs. And that is no fun for anyone.


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