Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Finished Clay Projects

I'm trying to utilize nap time to finish up blog posts from the last school year so I can delete photos of student artwork and make room for new ones!  Teachers in my district start back to school one week from today, students start one week after that.

My third grade students made slab (tortilla) and coil (chorizo) bowls inspired by The Pot That Juan Built (GREAT book!)  We have to use air dry clay in my district since we do not have access to a kiln.  When the pots were dry, they painted with tempera cakes.

Second grade students made slab "fossils" with ball and coil decorations around the edge so they could practice scoring and slipping.  I bought plastic bugs, spiders, and some toy dinosaurs that could be pressed into the clay to make the fossil.  Students painted with tempera paint.  I don't have any photos because it was kind of impossible to tell what they were supposed to be.  I had seen this project done before where they stained the fired clay to make the impressions show up.  It didn't work so well with air dry clay.

First grade students made pinch pot turtles, inspired by the lesson I saw at Deep Space Sparkle.  This was a really good project for the students to practice pinch pots as well as attaching clay for legs and heads.  The students used pencils to carve designs into the shells.  These were painted with watercolors when they dried. Lots of legs broke off but the students just made up stories about how the missing limbs came to be- like they got in a fight with a shark!

Kindergarten students made "knee pots" by pressing their clay into a slab and forming it over their paper towel-covered knee.  Some carved designs in with pencils, some not.  We painted with watercolors when they dried.  Some of the kindergarten teachers said they were really confused when the students asked for paper towels during their play-doh time until they started making knee pots!


  1. Knee pots!!! I love it! I am going to have to try elbow pots this year. Too many kids in one class for knee pots! Very exciting! Have you ever used elbows?

  2. No, I haven't tried elbows before. That's a good idea!

  3. I tried elbow pots. They are very cute but expect small. Too much clay and they can't made an indention, small amount = small pot. I found I had to help some of the smaller kids push their elbows.

  4. I am working towards getting getting my Art Ed. degree and I currently have an assignment to do a class related to a children's book. This is a great idea! However, I only have a very small amount of time to read the book and do the project. Any suggestions? Thanks!

  5. Jillian, I covered the basics of slab and coil construction then I actually read the book to them while they were working. I love the book and wouldn't have had time otherwise since I allow one class period to build and the next class period is for painting. It worked well because I don't allow talking while they work on clay (they would never finish) so it was something nice to listen to while they worked.