Thursday, May 14, 2015

In the Art Room: Ceramic Flowers with Third Grade

Well, spring is here but I gotta tell ya, for me, it feels like my spring done sprung. I'm absolutely beat this time of year. Between putting together our school-wide art show (where I've not hung a single thing, thanks to all of my parent volunteers. I.LURVE.YOUS.) and trying to clean up after a year of bad put-stuff-away-after-you-use-it habits (I'm so bad, y'all. I've got more cabinet space then Ole Mother Hubbard and I still leave everything out all over my counters), I'm a walkin' talkin' zombie. Therefores, I have no DIY goodness to offer you this week, dears. Howeverness, I do have this super sweet ceramic flower project that my third graders just wrapped up!
 (Insert "awwww" emoji here.)
Like, that's a sculpted hummingbird created without instruction, y'all. (Insert "child prodigy" emoji here. Which I imagine looks like Doogie Howser. Or a childhood photo of me. Ahem.)
And a frog snagging his lunch. Let's face it, these sculptures are way cooler than any DIY of mine. Here's how these crafty kids created 'em. 
 We started out with some low-fire clay the size of a grapefruit. and a styro bowl. 
 We then created ping-pong ball sized spheres. 
And proceeded to squish 'em flat. We kept the thickness as thick as a cookie. Any thinner will become too fragile and too thick takes for-evah to dry. And we ain't got time for dat!
Once they were all squishied, we lined them all up and went to war with the one wee piece on the left. Actually I have no idea why I snapped this photo and then proceeded to share it here. I'm tellin' ya. The end-o-the-year has devoured that gray blob between my ears. 
Shape a couple of those flattened circles into leafy shapes if you wanna. 
 Use a pencil to draw veins. Again, if you wanna. 
 Start layering the leaves and flower petals into the bowl. For slipping and scoring, we use a toothbrush dipped in slip. We still use the terminology but this method is way easier than actually having the kids score with a pen tool. 
Why am I talking, these photos are pretty self-explanatory, right? You don't even need me, just the pics. I'm like IKEA directions but way easier and without the long hours of wrestling with particle board only to discover you've got a couple screws loose. Both figuratively and literally. 
 Oh, look! A flower donut!
 Fill it in,y'all. 
Just to make sure the center is secure and all flower petals are attached, some kids added a coil around the center of the flower.
 And viola! Finished! 
From there I went into my lil speech about how you can make anything in all of clay land if you know how to create a coil, slab and a sphere. Together we brainstormed some ideas on what we'd create and just how that could be accomplished with those three things. These ceramic pieces were created in one 60 minute class period. 
 Once they were bisque fired, we used Amaco's Teacher's Palette Glaze which I looooove. The colors were so bright and rich that I'm an instant fan. 
Today the kids were able to catch a glimpse of their projects while creating labels for the art show. They were thrilled with the transformation. Glazing with kids is truly magical.
Almost as magical as their imagination! Whutz your fave clay project? 
 photo signature_zpsd10b3273.png


  1. these are great per usual and the toothbrush and slip trick is GENIUS!

  2. Stephanie5/15/2015

    Could you share how you set up glazing? :)

  3. I'd love to know how you set-up glazing as well. These look beautiful!

    1. I just set it up like I do painting day: a variety of glaze on every table. I even keep it in the same egg cartons. I also provide water and a sponge for brush cleaning.

  4. Great write-up, I am a big believer in commenting on blogs to inform the blog writers know that they’ve added something worthwhile to the world wide web!..
    send flowers to Brazil 

  5. Great stuff. Thanks for sharing.


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

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.