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more projects for kids

updated sat 2 sep 00


Carole Fox on fri 1 sep 00

Dear Jeff,
Here are some projects that I use with kids from 6 to 13. I hope =
that you can use an idea or two.
1- bathtub soapdish : Make a pinch pot that will be large enough to =
hold a bar of soap (accounting for shrinkage). Shape it into an oval =
bathtub shape. Keep the rims thick so that you can add attachments. Pick =
a character from a storybook, an animal, an alien...whatever! Model the =
head of the animal from a small piece of clay. Attach to one end of the =
tub. Make some legs to dangle out over the other side of the tub. Add =
arms extending from the head across the rim of the dish so that it looks =
like your critter is relaxing in the tub. My daughter Sierra made a =
mermaid soapdish that looks so cute, my friends thought that I made it!

2- Coils in bisque mold: I made a bunch of simple stoneware bowls =
with no undercuts inside and bisqued them to use as molds. Each child =
gets a bowl and I demonstrate rolling coils (the straight out roll and =
the rock-and-roll techniques). A small ball of clay is flattened to make =
the bottom of the pot. Put this in the mold. Use coils in different =
design patterns and place them in the mold. Spirals, zig-zags...any =
design you would like. Fill in all the holes with clay and smear the =
inner surfaces together with your fingers. Sometimes I recommend adding =
a coil at the top to give the pot a strong rim. Smooth well inside with =
a light touch. The kids are always delighted to see these pots popped =
out of the molds. All of the designs that they seemed to have =
obliterated are still there on the outside!=20

3- Castle: I make slabs and hollow extrusions for the class and let =
them firm up a bit. The kids cut a base from a slab of clay and place it =
on a bat covered with newspaper. Make sure the base is thick enough to =
support the additions they will make. Show them how you can cut little =
squares out of the rim of a hollow tube to make a castle tower. They can =
texture the clay. They can cut out windows. They can add trees, people, =
a drawbridge...even a dragon.=20

Kids always seem to enjoy the clay inlay projects. I use small thin =
coils of red earthenware to make a picture on a slab of white =
earthenware. Use a rolling pin to inlay the coils. If you have lots of =
kids using the same rolling pin, you may need to lay down a sheet of =
newspaper or plastic before you roll or the rolling pin will get too =
They also love to make masks and they almost always come out great. =
You can make wreaths by extruding long coils, braiding them and shaping =
into a circle. For the younger kids, cut a wreath form from a slab of =
clay. Then add flowers, animals or holiday designs and even a clay bow. =
A tile class where they make four tiles and decorate them each in a =
different way (sgrafitto, stencils, adding clay, carving the clay or =
just painting with underglaze are some suggestions).
I find I constantly have to remind them to smooth those sharp edges. =
They can't imagine how sharp they can be after they are fired.
Well, that's all for now. I'm embarrassed to say that I'm still =
learning how to type and this is becoming too time-consuming for today. =
I really do appreciate the time that others put in to give out the =
information they have.

Carole - in Elkton, MD. Going to start our search at the animal =
shelters today to find a puppy.