Every now and then I say that this is my favourite project ever. This is one of those times. As a follow on from their Koi Fish Drawings, I had my grade 2 students create pinch pots containing tiny koi fish sculptures.
The idea for this project came from the lovely tea cups made by ceramicist Mochi Liu. You can see them on his etsy site here. I was a little unsure how my students would go with sculpting such intricate and tiny fish but they really surprised me. I guess having tiny little hands definitely helps.
My instructions were to roll a tiny piece of clay into a cylinder, then pinch one end to create a long teardrop shape. I then asked them to make three tiny triangles and attach them to the body to form the side fins and tail. We pressed the lid of a texta (thin marker) into the clay to create the scaly texture and the eyes. Having already studied pictures of koi fish and completed drawings, the students seemed to have a much better idea about transferring these ideas into three dimensions.
The fish were painted using gloss glazes. I had planned to melt glass marbles in the bottom of each pot to create the look of water, as I have seen this done on other blogs, but after experimenting and having a couple of pots explode (why did this happen? Can anybody tell me?) I got most students to decorate the inside of their pot with oil pastels and blue edicol dye (food colouring) to create the look of water in the pond. I think they are the most adorable thing ever!