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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Clay Ornaments Using Stamps and Star Anise

Now that all the parents have probably opened their holiday gifts from the children, I can blog about their ornaments.  We are very lucky because we have access to a kiln, which my husband so kindly fires for us.  So, for our ornaments the children were able to work with clay, which I find stimulates the children to no end.  It is interesting because the children play with play- dough and gak all the time, but they have a different approach with clay.  They naturally know that clay has many more possibilities for exploration.
 The children first roll out their pieces of clay on a small piece of canvas to help it from sticking to the table.  We use low fire white clay.

We have been talking about adding texture to things, so the children
added some textures to their clay by using stamps and rollers.
From there, they simply cut out their shapes with cookie cutters.

The ornaments waiting to dry and go into the kiln.

On another day, I wanted to add a sensory experience to the ornament making.
The smell of anise always makes me think of Christmas.  My mother to this day makes amazing anisette cookies.  I went to our local health food store and picked up some star anise for a recipe, and realized the children would love these.  So, I had the children explore their star shape and smell the spicy, familiar scent of my childhood.

They loved the smell of the anise, but more impressive was stamping with the star anise in our ornaments.  They left a beautiful impression.

Here are several star anise ornaments after the firing.

For the finishing touch, the children used metallic acrylic paints instead of
glazes on their ornament.



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