Thursday, June 23, 2016

5th Grade Clay Projects

Recently 5th grade artists made an independent clay project. We discussed what we knew about clay, how it clay comes from the Earth and is made up of different minerals. We learned that clay goes through many stages to become a ceramic object, starting with wet clay, drying out in the air to become bone dry, then getting fired in the kiln the first time to become bisque. 
Our options were a pinch pot figure, such as an animal or flower; a coil pot; or a slab box. We sketched out our project idea and the following class, students got clay and got started. For pinch pot figures, students started with a pinch pot. First we put our thumb in the middle of the ball of clay. We pressed down to form a hole and then used our fingers to pinch the sides. We turned our clay as we pinched so that the sides of our pot would be even and in a circular shape. Then this could be transformed into a flower, adding petals on the sides, or turned over and use to form the body of an animal, like a cat. 
Another option was a coil pot, which begins with a circular bottom and rolling the clay into coils around the sides to form the walls of the pot. Students made sure to score and slip the coils. 
The third option was a slab box, which involved the most measuring and scoring all the pieces. To make the slab box, students rolled out the clay to create flat pieces or slabs and cut them using a template to form the bottom and sides of the box. They assembled the sides by scoring the base and each side and using slip to attach everything together and smooth all the edges. Some students created a lid for their coil pot or slab box, and added details, such as shapes or letters, on the outside. 
Projects were left to dry for a week and then put in the kiln, which is an oven for the clay to get heated and become hard. Students got to take a look at the kiln in small groups, to better understand what it looks like and what it does. Students got their clay projects back after they had been bisque fired in the kiln. The clay projects had turned white and had gotten a little smaller. 
Then we used glaze to add color. Different color stations were set up and students went to different stations to use the colors they wanted. Each color needs 3 coats, or layers, of glaze to show up true to color.
We made sure to dab and pat our brush around to get all the areas and cover all the white spots, since the clay has a texture and is not always smooth or easy to paint. We got our projects back after they had been fired again, to melt the glaze and make it shiny. 
Camila, 5th grade (Domermuth Fantasia)
Adam, 5th grade (Twomey)
Eden, 5th grade (Bellis)
Zuhi, 5th grade (Twomey)
Koji, 5th grade (Twomey)
Kaleigh, 5th grade (Psychoghios)
Sandra, 5th grade (Bellis)
Rohan, 5th grade (Bellis)
Jack K., 5th grade (Twomey)
Bianca, 5th grade (Twomey)
Emma, 5th grade (Bellis)

Anita, 5th grade (Domermuth Fantasia)
Betzaida, 5th grade (Domermuth Fantasia)
Arsen, 5th grade (Domermuth Fantasia)

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