Monday, February 19, 2018

#Crush on the Medium Clay

Clay... Wow, this is a love/hate relationship with this Art Teacher.  Many of you know that I have developed an allergy to clay over the years. It is such a bummer because I have LOVED to work with clay in the past. When I was pregnant with my second child I started getting sick when working with clay. I would get cold-like symptoms and then a swollen face. This got worse and worse every year until I one day could not open my eyes because they were so swollen and when they were healing they started to crack and bleed... yep, it wasn't pretty.  

I have created with clay several years before the issues and I have had Artist in Residence and Art Teacher Swaps since so I'm excited to share some SOLID clay ideas in this post. 

I adore this bug project that I did back in the day. The kids loved it because it was created with their handprints and... get this... They created the texture with a shoe print. Yep, this is such a fun project here is this previous post

This next lesson I have done several times with kindergarteners. Each time I changed my practice just a little. I love this clay nest lesson and I love sharing it because it's often successful! Here is one post about this lesson that requires no/little finishing touches. This other past post has some finishing touches, like paint, but gives a very different look to the similar lesson.

Moving up to 1st grade...  After learning how to make a pinch pot in Kindergarten, this concept is brought to the next level with a 'Clay-D-Bug'. Students make a pinch pot and add a head.  Embellishments to this project have been wire, clay tiles, paint, and glaze.  Again this project is one that I have done several different ways. There is some GREAT videos tutorial teaching students about clay and creating a clay bug by Sue Davies. 

When finished we have done a couple of extensions such as 'clay bug terrarium'. I also have some ways to reflect on their artwork using Seesaw, click here.

Here is a more advanced pinch pot done by a student teacher, Amanda Loidolt. This was a sgraffito finishing and I thought these pots turned out amazing! Check out more examples here

Still, on the pinch pot theme, we did these adorable 'not so angry birds'. That is when Angry Birds were hot so it was fun to jump on the popular culture bandwagon at the time. My posts have definitely developed over the years but here are a couple more images in this previous post.

Here are two ways to bring the pinch pot to a new level! Talking Rocks are so much fun!! I have some great instructions on this previous post. Using a similar method, I have made these piggy banks with my personal kids.  They are treasures in our household. 


Here are some slab projects I have done in the past as well. Click here for the post for the pine cone relief project. Here is a short project post on the mosaic heart.  I really loved the sushi plates the 3rd graders did a couple of years ago. I have three posts about the sushi dishes; clay plates, fiber sushi rolls, and games we played with the rolls

I can't teach raw clay anymore, but I can do the finishing work with my class. I have a few ideas of how to finish clay with glaze alternatives in this post.  Take a look at some of these end results to pick out your next finishing technique might be. 

We are lucky to have a kiln in every school in our district.  I adore the medium and the kids to too... That is why I work so hard to give students the opportunity to work with clay at least once every year.  I'm excited to announce that this year we will be having Tracy Hare, a local Art Teacher come teach my students for a digital week this year. We call it clay week and you bet you will be hearing about it right here in the near future. 

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