I love doing clay projects with students, I just wish I saw them more so it wasn't a rush to finish. When doing clay projects I generally try to keep the working period to only one class.
For this lesson we did a basic coil pot using clay tools to slip and score to bond the clay together. I had a circle for them to trace around for the base and they just started building them up. I let them add some designs if they wanted and we set them up to dry.
Unfortunately I do not have a kiln at any of my buildings so it's only air dry clay for me. I ordered a different kind this go around, I tried out the Amaco Mexican Pottery self hardening clay in red. It was super moist which made it great for the students to work with. I was also really surprised as to how light the clay felt when it was dry. Also to my surprise I only had a couple of pieces that needed to be fixed. I usually use the Crayola Air Dry clay, and sometimes with that clay I feel like I am doing clay surgery as it doesn't seem to bond as well together.
Needless to say I loved the clay!
The next challenge was figuring out how we were going to add some color without totally losing the red clay look. For the first class I used Liquitex clear gloss varnish with a couple drops of blue acrylic paint and the students just coated the entire thing. I liked it, but I wasn't crazy about it.
So I took another shot at it. This time before using the blue gloss mixture students used green and blue oil pastels and heavily coated the outside. I did not require them to do the inside. Some students that had a big enough opening went ahead and did that as well. After it was coated we used the blue gloss over the entire piece. I really like the way these second ones turned out.
It almost looks like floating blue glaze, well at least the best you can do without a kiln!
I send clay projects home in a paper sack. It seems to prevent the throwing it in the backpack and breaking scenario. It also gives students a sense of pride to take it home and show their parents as if they have a gift. We finished these around conferences so some of the classroom teachers gave them to the parents as they came!
(Don't mind the messy book shelf I was running a little low on space.)