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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Creating with Clay

Back in December we started working with clay at school.  The children made wonderful holiday gifts to give to their families.  Each time I write about the children working with clay I probably say the same thing, it is a magical medium.  The kids are filled with excitement and their focus during their time with the clay is amazing.  We are very fortunate to have the opportunity to fire our clay projects to which I owe my husband a big thanks!

My 3-5 year olds made vases and the 2 1/2- 3 1/2 year olds made pinch pot candle holders.
The first group started their project by rolling out a slab of clay.

After rolling out the clay, they would cut the extra

They then would hammer down the sides so the clay would not be too thick at the seams.

The children also learned how to attach two pieces of clay together by scoring and then applying a watered down clay called slip (clay glue) to the pieces they wanted to attach together.  In this case it was the edges at the seam.

They then smoothed down the edge with a rubber rib.

Taking the extra clay from their vase, they would stand their project up on top of the slab and trace the bottom.  Again they would attach their bottom by slipping and scoring the bottom on.

It is a very involved process, but I was so impressed with their patience, ability, and concentration.

The children then had the opportunity to use a face mold, or stamping tools to decorate their vases.  Many loved the face mold.

A very focused little girl adding her face to her vase.

Again, I loved watching them work, they are all so capable and they take so much pride in their work.

All very unique and beautiful!

My littlest students also loved working with the clay.  They created pinch pots, and I don't know if it is their small hands or the ability to not overwork the clay, but my preschool students have always made better pinch pots then my high school students ever did!

   A pinch pot is a simple process, but it is easy to mess them up.  The children would take a ball of clay and press their thumb down the center of the ball.  They then slowly turned the clay in their hands as they pinch the sides.

As a final touch before we fired their pinch pots, they chose some items they wanted to press into the clay for decoration.

We ran out of time to glaze them this year, but I think they still came out great with paint on them.