Tuesday, May 12, 2015

2nd Grade Art Lesson: Whimsical Clay Castles

Our school is very fortunate to own a kiln. I love taking advantage of this and enjoy ending the year of art with a clay project.

For my second grade class this year, they have been doing such a great job learning their seven elements of art: Color Form Line Shape Space Texture Value that ending the year with whimsical clay castle seemed very fitting.
2nd Grade Art Lesson: Whimsical Clay Castles

First we went over the Four Rules of Clay:

1. Have fun!
If the piece isn’t what you want it to be, start over! It’s important to not get frustrated while you’re working because clay is very forgiving.

2. Keep it wet!
Clay is made of mud and water. Your hands, and the air, will dry it out over time, so keeping it between two moist paper towels helps.

3. Work on the table, not on the paper plate.
Leave your base on the paper plate and try not to put too much pressure on it to make it thinner. Do any work, rolling, carving, writing, etc, on the table. Until the very end if you have to smooth or add details.

4. Glue Glue Glue Glue Glue (did I mention glue?)
Clay glue must be used when you are connecting two pieces to each other. First, scrape both surfaces, then wet finger in water and add to each side before adding the pieces to each other. Clean up any lines left behind with a tool or with your finger to help seal the joint.

I was very fortune to get the word out for volunteers in time and got a stellar cast of helpers for this project. They were able to flatten out a piece of clay that was approximately 1/8 inch thick as a base on a paper plate to give each student. They also helped make sure that unused clay stayed between two moist paper towels.

I gave the kids a choice of a castle gate made of a base, two towers and an arch, or a castle crenel tower made up of a base and coil shapes. Once again, I am blow away at their artistry:

Now everything goes in the kiln for the first firing!

See you in two weeks when we glaze!

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