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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Clay Tiles

This is a wonderful project idea that my husband gave me.  He does this with his Middle School students
and I was impressed that these 3-4 year olds were successful making their own.
I shouldn't be surprised, but it was wonderful to be taken back by their talents yet again.

We use a low fire white clay that does not have grog in it.  We also used low fire glazes. 
One things I have to say about real clay in general versus play dough is that even if you do not have a place to fire your clay, the experience of playing with real clay is worth the $20.00 you pay for a 50 lb. box.  There is nothing like clay.  Play dough is great as well, but clay can do so much more and feels great!  I think it is an invaluable material for children of all ages.

With that said, let's talk about this project.
  •  You want to roll out slabs around 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick.  Any size will do, however these were 5" X 5".   Next time I will have the children roll out the slabs, but we were working under a deadline to get them ready for the firing, so I rolled out the tile slabs.

  • Next, give each child a square piece of paper, and then have them fold the paper in the fashion of making a paper snowflake.  This is great to do in a group because I would do a fold and then they would try to do the same fold with their paper.  Great for observation techniques and then the coordination for them to do it themselves

After they are done folding their paper, then I give them scissors to cut along the edges

They loved unfolding the paper and finding their cuts made a design.
After they open up the paper, have them place it on top of their slab.
makes sure they really smooth it out and rub them flat onto their slabs.

Next, have the children paint on a thick coat of glaze.  When this coat drys, add a second coat.
It is OK that the clay has not gone through a bisk firing.
If you have colored slips, this would work even better.

After the glaze has dried, peel off the paper snowflake.
It will leave a neat design on the clay.

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