Thursday, March 4, 2010

Clay Birds

-Learn handbuilding techniques
-Create a 3D work of art by combining shapes

-Score: drawing lines on the surface of the clay to create roughness.
-Slip: Adding water to scored clay to create muddy clay.
-Smooth: The act of pushing the scored and slipped clay together so it will stay through the firing process.
-Kiln: The device that fires clay.
-Firing: Putting the clay in the kiln and heating it to approximately 2,000 degrees. Creates a chemical change in the clay, making it hard like stone.

Kiln access
Paint in a variety of colors
Wiggle eyes
Orange construction paper
Glue gun and hot glue
Clay tools (sharpened stick)

Clay Duck by a Kindergartener
We started this project by looking at my example, and talking about 2D and 3D objects. Next, I demonstrated how to assemble the birds. I used three different types of birds; one for each class of kindergarteners that I teach at my home school. The ducks are the easiest, as the kids just make balls out of the clay and assemble them. I show them how to score, slip, and smooth the clay together (I call that the "Three 'S's" which makes it easier for them to remember). For the wings and feet, I asked them to squish their clay ball to make a flat oval/circle shape. These kids painted the bird yellow, and the feet orange. I added a paper beak and wiggle eyes with the glue gun.

Clay Parrot by a Kindergartener
I think the parrots were the hardest. Again, I showed them how to create clay balls and assemble them. The wings and feet were just squished balls, but I also showed them that if they'd like to add plumage to the top of the head they could pinch the clay. Once they were fired, I added clay beaks that I made and let them paint them whatever color they wanted. After painting, I added the wiggle eyes. The penguins had an added challenge, because I had them use triangles for the feet and stretched out triangles for the wings. I also showed them how to pinch the clay to create a tail. Again, I added clay beaks that I made after they were fired and wiggle eyes after they painted them. I instructed them to paint the white first, yellow second, and black last.

Clay Penguin by a Kindergartener

As always, I circulated the room providing guidance when needed. Completed projects are assessed for craftsmanship, understanding of concepts taught, and completion of the painting.
To view all of our birds, check out our gallery on Artsonia.

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