Thursday, April 9, 2015

In the Art Room: Kindergarten Clay Birds

Well, hey there, bird legs! It looks like you are getting a two-fer this week as I'm sharing yet another "In the Art Room" with y'all! That's partly because I've not had two seconds to do any sort of creating of my own (which is making my right eye twitch a lil) so no DIY-ness this week. And also because what the kids have been busting out in the art room lately has been so stinkin' sweet I just had to share. For zample, check out these kindergarten clay birds!
 Like, riiiight?! The kids created these birds in just under 45 minutes and they couldn't have been more proud of themselves. They were all created during our school-wide Clay Week (aka Cray Week). I'll be sharing what each grade level created in upcoming posts. But just had to start with these as they're currently my fave. 

Supplies:
* Low fire (cone 06) clay. Okay, so we don't all have a kiln. For that, I'm so sorry! Working with kids and clay is one of my fave things in the universe. I've already decided that next year, we're gonna have two separate clay events just so me and the kids have more clay time! 
* No clay? How about Model Magic? Or another air dry substitute?
* Sargent brand fluorescent oil pastels. Any oil pastels would work...but I personally loved the vibrancy of the fluorescents. 
* Watered down India Ink. Like, real watered down. I use a cup of water to a splash of India ink.
* Big brushes or...a bucket to simply dunk the birds into.
* Pipe cleaners and beads.
Since y'all seemed to like the butterfly video (despite the lackluster quality) I decided to film another clip for y'all. Once again you're sitting on a stack of miscellaneous art room stuffs. Next time, I promise I'll bring my tripod! AND not pound on the table during a taped demo. Der. 
Once the clay projects were complete, they dried over spring break (and then some. I'm a firm believer in a good two week dry out period. But only for clay. Ahem.). From there they were bisque fired. I then decided to have the kids do this lil pastel resist trick on 'em because it looked so groovy on these butterflies last year. And because I like to reserve my glaze (and that super fun second round of kiln firing) for my 2nd thru 4th grade kidz. 
Now I've gone about the painting portion two dif ways and I think I've found a winner. Normally, I give the kids a big moppy brush and let them have at it. The prob with that is that there are always white spots. Which means I gotta tell 'em one million times to go back and repaint. So today, for sanity and time-savin's sake, I had the kids gather round while I dunked each bird in a watered down bucket o' India ink. Which they though was like the bestest thing everrr. I then handed the birds to them on a plate (they're only drippy for a moment as the bisque absorbs the paint rapidly) and the kids set to work on the next step (which I briefly explained in the clip until my camera decided to shut me up).
 So what my lil clip didn't give me time to say was that once the feet were complete, the kids had the option to add beads. I did limit their bead intake to no more than 5 beads per foot. You'll notice that one lil bird in this post didn't quite get the memo. Que sera. 
 
Once the feet were created, the kids simply inserted the top of the pipe cleaner through the hole, bent it around and twisted. And I say "simply" but it's kindergarten. So it wasn't quite that simple. But those that did get it were great teaching buddies to their friends. And in the end, they all were complete.
Just to make sure the birds didn't lose their feet, I did add a touch of hot glue to the back. I also added the pipe cleaner hanger and hit that with glue as well. 
And there you have it, some super cute kindergarten clay birds! Have fun, y'all!
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26 comments:

  1. I LOVE THESE! I use India Ink all the time with my clay projects--it even works with air dry!

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    1. Awesome!! That's good to know! I've never used air dry but I'm happy to know this technique works, thank you Abby!

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    2. Anonymous5/06/2015

      Hi Abby! I want to use India ink with a project - but I don't know if I should have students do it before they paint it with tempera or after, like Cassie did with these birds? Thoughts?

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    3. Abby with the air dry clay after the project is aired out and they have applied the oil pastels do you dunk them in the india ink right away? Thanks for your help :)

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    4. Michelle, you can dunk right away. No need to let the clay sit unless you don't have time!

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    5. So after they are bisque fired they apply the oil pastels and then dip in india ink wash. then do you fire them again?
      Sorry I'm a newbie.
      ev

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  2. Cassie, You are forever inspiring!!! These are adorbs!

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    1. Oh, stop! I'm just an over-share-er who loves to show off the wacky things the kids create. Thank you :)

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  3. I've always done acrylic on the air dry clay, for the coat of protection, but I wanna try thi. Wonder if I could ModPodge over the whole shebang?

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    1. Phyl, I used ModPodge last year on those clay butterflies...and I noticed that it sometimes caused the paint to smear and thereby dull the color of the oil pastels. I didn't love it. But it did give the clay projects a nice sheen. I don't think I'll do it again this year. Mostly cuz I'm lazy. And I don't think it needs it...? You give it a go and lemme know what you think :)

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    2. I use Liquitex Professional gloss medium and varnish it works awesome over oil pastels and acrylics on air dry clay!

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    3. Abby, what type of air dry clay would you recommend?
      Thanks!

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  4. This is a wonderful and interesting ;-)

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  5. Hi Cassie, great work! Can I ask what you used to create the texture? I have been looking for inexpensive tools for texture work with my K-6th graders.

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    1. Hi!! Well, I love burlap for inexpensive printmaking textures b/c you can purchase a ton and cut it down to size and have several available for the kids. I also love doilies which you can find at the craft shops. They are perfect for textures!

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  6. This was awesome! I did these birds with my second graders (slabs, pinching, and rolling are in the curriculum at this grade level) and now all of the older kids want to do them too. I used watered down acrylic since I didn't have any India Ink and it worked great! Thank you so much!

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  7. Hi! I am looking forward to trying this lesson out with my Kindergarten students very soon. I have air dry clay. After they create their birds and the completely dry out you have them color onto of the clay with the oil pastels. After they are done coloring, do you dunk them right away in the India ink, or should you wait until the next class? I've never tried this technique and have always done acrylic paints on air dry clay so I am excited to try something new!

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    1. You could wait or dunk right away. Either way works fine! Just depends on your time frame

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  8. Love! I just did these with my first graders! We are watercolor painting them. Thanks for the great lesson!

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  9. Anonymous3/22/2017

    Your videos are so helpful! Do you use them in your classroom as a demonstration or do you prefer live demonstrations?

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  10. Anonymous5/15/2017

    You are seriously amazing! Thanks again Cassie!

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  11. Thanks for your information, it was really very helpfull..
    מדביר

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  12. Hi Cassie! I'm looking forward to trying this project - my first time to teach clay. EEEEE! I don't know anything about India Ink, though. How much do you mean in your bucket of watered down india ink? I will be doing this with approximately 250 students (Kinders and 1sts). Thanks!

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  13. Just to clarify I will not be using air dry clay so I need to fire them. Can I still use oil pastels and India ink wash?

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Thank you so much for your comments. I appreciate each and every one :)