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kid's clay project

updated tue 29 aug 00


Carole Fox on mon 28 aug 00

Dear Clayart Friends,
I have begun thinking about the children's classes I will be =
teaching this Fall and I would like to share one of my favorite Fall =
projects with you. It is a pumpkin pot! I give each child two small =
balls of clay from which they will attempt to make two pinch pots of the =
same size. Most important is that the rims match up and kids need to be =
reminded that the rims should not be thinned out. The two pots are then =
joined (slipped and scored) and the joint is smoothed over. If there is =
an indentation at this joint a small coil of clay is worked into it. The =
result is a ball of clay with air enclosed inside. It doesn't need to be =
a perfect circle (we're talking about pumpkins here!) so this project =
will work with kids as young as six!
The next step is to take the corner edge of a (1 x 2") piece of wood =
and press it into the clay ball from the top of the ball to the bottom =
at regular intervals around the ball. At this point, even a very crudely =
made pot begins to look like a pumpkin. Next, add on clay stem and =
leaves, perhaps a curly vine or an insect or two.
There are several ways to go from here. You can let it set up a bit =
and then carve a face into it. You can cut around the top at an angle to =
make a box. (The stem becomes the handle.) You can put a steam-escape =
hole in the bottom and turn it into a paper weight.
The box is my favorite choice. After the cut has been made, =
carefully smooth the inside of the box where the two pots were joined. =
Also, if you will be cutting the top into a lid, you need to keep this =
in mind when you are adding decoration.
Looks great on red earthenware. I hope this idea will be of use to =
somebody out there.
Carole- in Elkton, MD who will soon be delivering a forgotten lunch box =
to my 7 year old daughter. It's only the FIRST day of school!