Friday, March 6, 2015

Clay Mania

To preface this, you might need to know a little bit more about me.  See I'm the type of person who doesn't take the time to match my socks, I mean I don't mind if they're different colors as long as they're on my feet what's the big deal?  I'm guilty of wearing socks and sandals, not just a casual 'I got done at the gym so I'm going to slip my sandals on.'  In fact, I LOVE wearing socks and sandals, there's no shame here, besides how else would you see my mismatched socks?  I'm also the type of person that loves the cold.  Don't get me wrong, I live for summer, but there's something so refreshing about cold crisp air, ya know the kind that makes your nose hairs freeze?  I'm always surprised when I'm out on a run in sub zero temperatures and I don't see anybody HELLO where are you?! 

So now you think I'm crazy, besides the fact that I am on day 12 of 21 of not having coffee (guys, caffeine withdrawal is real, I repeat caffeine withdrawal is real)...well I guess I am crazy, but aren't all the best art teachers?

Well my craziness transferred over into the art room because I decided it would be a grand idea to have 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 6th grade all do clay projects at the same time!  I mean it does make set up a whole lot easier and we all know how messy that clay is so for the sake of cleanliness I just wanted to make one big mess at once and be done with it..ya dig?  When I'm at my other two buildings on my cart it also makes it so much easier to have all the classes doing clay at the same time otherwise I simply don't have space!  

I live in a no kiln world, so air dry is my method.  My room is filled with clay projects, It was almost like magic--I kept finding more and more places to put clay!  So now I've got all these projects sitting in brown paper sacks for the classroom teachers to send home at conferences next week, so it actually worked out quite nicely.

Because I do work with air dry clay and am only with each group once every eight school days clay has to be one day lessons.  No way can we save it for the next class.

2nd grade made these precious little flower plaques.  Texture was key in this lesson and students did such a nice job slipping and scoring that not a single one broke! Seriously?! That's a first.

I gave them the base, that I had rolled out.  But for a couple classes I forgot my rolling pin at my other building so this is me being resourceful.  But honestly it was awesome.

1st grade embarked on these little clay hearts and stars.  (I guess I didn't get any images of the stars, most students went for the heart)

I gave them a piece of paper like this and students filled in the shape with "snails" and circles, smoothed it all out, flipped over the clay piece and revealed all of the patterns.  Before students added oil pastels on top I dipped them in a watered down black acrylic bath.

Can you tell this student loves Ireland?

3rd grade made these coil pots with red Amaco air dry clay.  I'm trying to be more of a "yes [wo]man" so I let students use whatever color oil pastels they choice, but I'm thinking the method I tried last year worked a little better.

Well now I'm going to go into my classroom and drown in my piles of clay.  If you don't hear from me for a while you'll know where to find me.


  1. I'm starting clay week next week! I love your ideas, the kids did a fantastic job!!

    1. Thank you! May you have plenty of lotion on hand (pun intended)! Can't wait to see why you guys make.