Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Summer School: Beginning Ceramics Lesson 2 & 3

Picking up where I left off in my first summer school post, after teaching/reviewing the pinch pot method with my students- the next method we went over was the coil method.

In doing some 'research' for my project (pinning on Pinterest- tough work I know!) I founds a cute project with spider webs.  The project originated from this art teacher's classroom page, http://facaartroom.blogspot.com/.  She's got a lot of great projects on there- I would encourage you to check them out!

Here's how our projects went...

After reviewing how to make a coil I demonstrated two different types of webs.  I first demo'd the above web.  I called this one a closed web- it is just a simple coil.  

The second web I called the open work web- this one was more difficult to create and more fragile- but kids liked it because it resembled a more realistic web.

After the webs were built kids created spiders and sliped and scored everything together.  We lost a few legs here and there in the process, but overall everyone experienced success and had a good time!  The two colored examples above are both painted with a glossy acrylic paint.  Students had the option to glaze their webs or paint them.

On the 4th day of summer school (shoot now I have Christmas carols in my head!)  I introduced the slab technique.  I think I'm like most art teachers in the way that I am a huge stickler for how slabs are rolled out.  I want my students to use the slats (1/2" thick about) and a rolling pin each time they roll so their slab is consistant in thickness.  Kids who follow those steps have projects that hold together.

Here was our project: after demonstrating the slab rolling technique I showed them how to begin to create a house.  They initially cut out a large slab for the house- no templates for this project- and smoothed the edges.  Then they had to continue rolling out slabs and cutting shapes for windows, doors, roofs and even garages.  I showed them that when we add on a window- that is an additive method.  

Then I took our my mini loop tools and showed the how they can also use a subtractive method to add details to their house- such as windows on their doors, etc.  My method for my roof was to add shingles starting at the base of the roof and working my way up.  A lot of detail went into these.  I love the variety!

We used Amaco Velvet underglazes to paint the slabs while they were still greenware.  We did this to save on time- I knew there would not be time to do two firings for these projects (summer school sessions are only 10 days).  This was my first time using underglazes and I'm sooo pleased with the results.  They are very lovely and colorful.

Have you used underglazes before?  What do you like about them?  How do you use them?  On greenware?  Bisqued clay?


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