Monday, May 8, 2017

In the Art Room: First Grade Fish UPDATE!

First grade just finished up their clay fish sculptures and before they get placed in our art show display, I thought I'd share them with you. This was a fun project where we used speckled glaze (Jungle Gems by Mayco) and a metallic watercolor. Here's how these cuties were created:
I see my firsties for 30 minutes twice a week. On the first day, we created the base, complete with a starfish (Patrick!) and seaweed. After the kids left, I added a hole in the base and their names to the bottom. On the second day, we created our fish. I did the same thing to the was tricky writing their names on such a small surface, but I managed to get it done. 
 After the pieces dried for two weeks, I fired them in the kiln. I then dipped the bases in a gold watercolor to completely cover them. From there, the kids used metallic watercolor paints for the seaweed and starfish. Glaze was used on the fish. I encouraged the kids to use at least three coats of glaze for complete coverage. 
The speckled glaze really is the coolest. And the kids love the surprising change they see once their creations have come out of the kiln. 
After all of that fun was done, I had the pleasure of gluing the pieces together. I used chopsticks (I had a donation given to me) that I broke down to a smaller size. After gluing a couple of tall fish, I realized that they might be more inclined to tip over and break than the shorter ones. 
They are much more stable with the smaller sticks. And super cute, I might add. I want one for my home!
The kids had a lot of fun adding texture to their fish which really turned out beautifully with the glaze. 
By the way, when first adding the holes to the bottom of the fish and the base, make sure you wiggle the stick back and forth a bit. Clay shrinks as it's drying and the wiggle will keep the clay opening the right size for the stick. 
Our Pet Shop themed art show is next Tuesday night...I'm slowly getting the art room ready for the transformation. I can't wait to see these fun fish on display. I'll be sure to share!
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  2. I love it! What brand of metallic watercolor do you use?

    1. Ahhhh...I don't know! I found it in my art supply catalog...but I will say this: I wasn't in love. The colors were great and sparkly but there was surprisingly little in the pan. Like, so little. For the gold that I dunked the piece it, it was Sax Metallic Watercolor, which I would recommend. :)

  3. If the fish were glazed on both sides, how did you fire them without them sticking to the kiln shelf?

    1. There are things called clay stilts. They are for firing things that are glazed on both sides. You can find them here:

    2. Cassie- I just wanted to say THANK YOU! Thanks for the information you have provided and for being such an inspiration to me and my students. I love this project!! Often, in class, I refer to you as my friend in the states. Although we have never met, I feel like I know ya!

      I have a quick question. I tried to look up the product you mentioned above, but cannot find it. Is this similar to what you used?

      Also, do you not have to worry about the glaze sticking to those small points? Thanks in advance you any information you may provide. Kind Regards- Tommy

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  5. Love your ideas! You are an incredible art teacher! This is my first year teaching art and you have been a life saver!! I was just curious if this project would still work with air dry clay if you don’t have a kiln?


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