May 29, 2016

More Clay Treasure Chests

Here's another project that I returned to recently after first completing with grade twos 6 years ago. You can see my post about the original project HERE. This time I gave the project to my grade three group and made a few changes to the final decorations. 

Over several lessons, students used slab construction techniques to create a rectangular box with a curved lid. They added details of their choice such as locks, keys, handles and used clay tools to engrave texture into the clay. This is a great project for exploring texture as students are challenged to get that 'centuries old wood grain look' 

Once fired, I had students rub over their treasure chest with crayons in shades of brown or green, in order to pick up and enhance the texture. We then painted the clay with brown edicol dye (for those non-Australians - this is a type of strong dye made from food colouring). Alternatively, you could use a watered down brown ink or brown watercolour paint. Students were then given metallic paints to paint the details they wanted to look like metal. 

Fill with small sequins, rhinestones and seashells for display!!


image via
A few years ago I had my students paint their own version of pop artist Robert Indiana's iconic sculpture 'LOVE' (1970). You can see the previous results HERE. After folding a square piece of paper in half twice to achieve four equal sections, students were asked to sketch in the lettering as best they could. This time I made it an exploration of value, asking students to choose any colour to paint the letters and then to use white and black to create two tints and two shades of their colour for the background. Black marker was used to outline once complete. Obviously I am very late in posting this, but this is a great project to do in time for Valentine's Day.


Apr 2, 2016

Clay Cactus Sculptures

A while back my grade fours completed these cactus sculptures, inspired by this post from Hope at 'Mrs Knight's Smartest Artists'. 
I began by having my students make a simple pinch pot for their plant pot. It was interesting to review the pinch pot process, which students had learned in grade one and two. 
I fired the pots and after studying various actual potted succulents from my house as well as different images, I asked students to sculpt their plant using Model Magic. I felt that the texture of Model Magic was perfect for succulent plants and allowed students to directly add other elements such as cut up toothpicks and matchsticks. 

Students were encouraged to paint their pots using bright colours and to attempt tonal variation with different greens when painting the plant.

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