Showing posts with label clay. Show all posts
Showing posts with label clay. Show all posts

Monday, March 25, 2019

My Fave Clay Lessons of All Times (with Video!)

Hey, artsy friends! I'm comin' at you in the midst of clay week(s) at my school...which has me thinkin' all things clay. I've shared MANY clay projects on this blog (most with how-to video) and I thought I'd compile them here today. Feel free to use them in your art teacherin' world...just be sure and credit the original source and don't sell my content on TPT (yes, that's happening. I hate a disclaimer but here we are). Anyway, follow the links to the original blog posts for lesson details, videos and more!

Before we get to the lessons tho, I thought I'd share my two videos all about clay. 
And this one is all about glaze. I hope that they help!
Wait, WHAT?! YOU DON'T HAVE A KILN?

Well, no problem! I wrote a whole book filled with 52 clay projects for the kiln-less...although many of the projects in this book could also be done with kiln fire clay. Get you a copy here! 
Now, on with the lessons!

1. Cats and Dogs Sculptures! One thing my kids always love to create are animals. I usually do a theme for my art shows and on this particular year, we were raising funds for the local no-kill animal shelter. We created these cute pets. Complete instructions right here. 
2. Party Pandas! One year, our theme for our art show was Asia and my fourth graders created these little pandas with big personality. I love these sunbathing pandas! More details here. 
3. Clay Chameleons! If you are looking for a project that all kids will love and be successful with, check out this one! Our theme was Pet Shop and my third graders rocked this. Try glazing these with the glaze that has specks of glass in it for some real oohs and ahhs! Lesson video here.
4. First Grade Fish! How cute are these? I'm thinking of bringing this lesson back this year to go along with our pirate theme. You can check out the complete lesson with video here!
5. Spring Flowers! If you are looking for a spring themed project, have I got one for you. My kids loved this lesson but REALLY enjoyed making the little insects and butterflies on their flowers the most. I love when the kids tell a story with their clay. Lesson here. 
6. Painted Elephants Inspired by India! In keeping with our Asian theme a couple years ago, we created these PRECIOUS painted elephants. My fourth graders got so creative with this lesson that just seeing these melts my heart! All the details here.
 7. Bobble Head Pets! Did I mention that we like to sculpt animals? Cuz we like to sculpt animals. Complete details on these bobble head pets and video right here. 
8. Exotic Birds! Remember how I said the elephants were my favorite? Well, these guys place a close second. They did require some assembly for me and my parent volunteers but we didn't mind because LOOK HOW FUN! Lesson and video here.
 9. Texture Turtles by Kindergarten! That's right, kindergarten! We LOVE this lesson as it involves stepping on our clay and leaving behind our cool shoe tread texture. Lesson and video here. 
10. Kindergarten Butterflies! When doing clay with kindergarten, I always have them work with a lot of texture...texture and clay are a match made in heaven! Also, note how we "glazed" these...there are so many alternatives to glazing. So if you can't use glaze, check out how these were finished off! 
11. First Grade Fish! Yes, more fish! These were also painted in same manner as the butterflies. Colored with oil pastel and dip-dyed into black ink. If you've not tried this technique, you really outta! 
12. Gnome Homes! Did I mention that I like to use texture with clay? Cuz I like to use texture with clay! These gnome homes are always a hit with my students AND when I host craft nights for friends! Details here. 
13. Chinese Dragons! Remember that Asian theme I mentioned? Well, this was the third grader's contribution to that. They loved making these dragons. Super fun and simple lesson here!
14. Initials Plaques! This is one of those projects that I often return to because it is always a hit with the kids. This is also a great lesson if you are short on time and clay. Details can be found here. 
15. Pinch Pot Friends! All our kiddos need to know how to make a pinch pot...so much can be created from this simple vessel. Like these sweet pinch pot friends. Check out the blog post for details. 
16. Texture Tacos! Y'all, this is a lesson I did with my kindergarten and they ROCKED IT! Not to mention, they had a blast. All the details along with a video can be found here. 
17. Kindergarten Birds! That's right, kindergarten! We loved creating these and each one was as wild and wacky as the next. All the details here!
18. Pinch Post Pets! First grade made these cuties one year and I cannot get over them. Look at that attention to glazing detail! Lesson here. 
19. Coffee and Donuts! Okay, so this blog post actually DOES NOT have each project in detail because at the time it was written, I was working on my clay book! So the projects you see here can be found in my book. 
20. Fabulous Frogs! And, last but not least, these here fabulous frogs. This was also apart of our spring theme...and I just love the personalities of each. All the details here. 

I cannot wait to share with you what my kids are creating for our pirate themed art show...but if you want to stay in the know, you should totally follow me here! 


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Sunday, July 1, 2018

DIY: Polymer Clay Snack Foods Necklace

 As you might have guessed from my last post, I'm on a bit of a polymer clay bender. I have this habit of going thru phases when working with different art supplies. When I'm needle felting, I needle felt EVERYTHING;  when I'm painting the walls of my art room, NOTHING IS SAFE; and when I decide to make miniature snack foods out of clay, watch out! 
I've got sushi, pie, popcorn, cupcakes, donuts, pizza, tacos, nachos, pretzels, lollies, pancakes, ice cream, bacon -n- eggs and more! I have to blame some of this on my friends over on Instagram who gave me a TON of ideas for what to sculpt. So many that I ended up with enough charms for not one necklace but also two charm bracelets! 
I hope this helps!
Because the grand majority of clothing in my closet is just as busy as this necklace, I decided to pair it with the dress I painted and stitched. Yes, this would be one of the more tame pieces of clothing in my closet. Surprised? I didn't think so. 
Wanna make some snack food charms of your own? You totally should! I even made a video tutorial showcasing how to make the tacos, nachos, donuts and sushi! Once you conquer those, you can take on all the snack foods. Here's a little list of supplies:
 * Sculptey Clay...or whatever your polymer clay of choice might be. I like the big ole 24 pack of the clay for a wide range of colors. Be sure and use all of the craft store coupons you can find as this stuff ain't cheap.

* Jump Rings...that's the little metal circles you'll want to add to your clay piece before popping it in the oven. I just slide mind in the back of the clay, sinking them about half way in. You'll be adding two jump rings per creation...but you'll only need to add one before baking. The other one can be added once the clay is cooled and easier to handle.

* Jeweler's Tools...or pliers. You'll need small tools to pry the second jump ring open and add it to the one that is already on the clay. Each charm will need TWO jump rings. If you only use one, then your charms will hang sideways. With the addition of the second one, your charm will hang straight on and be visible to all of your admirers. 

* Elastic...I use elastic string for my necklaces as I truly hate creating jewelry and working with tiny findings and jump rings. So being able to slide my necklace over my big ole head Candy Necklace style works best for me. 

* Modpodge...I used that to seal and protect my charms once they were out of the oven and cooled. 

* Wooden Beads...You can find a variety of wooden beads in the wood department (heh-heh) of your local craft store. I use acrylic paint to add color to mine. 
 My favorite part of making this necklace was making the charms...obviously. I made so many! I still want to make more. But do I really need ANOTHER snack food jewelry item? Probably. 
 Some tips about polymer clay: it's weird. Sometimes it can sit out forever and never harden and other times, it becomes like a rock. 
They sell a kind of polymer clay softener at the craft store for exactly one million dollars (but seriously, it's ridiculously pricey for the size of the bottle). OR you could simply add just a drop of baby oil to the hardened clay, rework and TA-DA! You are back in business. 
 Another tidbit: I used to sort and store my clay by color in styrofoam bowls and/or thin plastic containers. When I went back to reuse the clay, it had eaten holes right thru the styrofoam! I shared that on my IG and most folks said they had success keeping their clay in plastic bags or thicker plastic containers. I now store mine in a wooden drawer with dividers. WHO CAN EAT THRU STYROFOAM?! I mean, that stuff isn't even biodegradable! 
 My students LOVE making food items out of clay. In fact, one of our art shows was a 1950's diner where all of the food was sculpted from clay. I think they would so love making these tiny foods...they have tiny hands, they could handle it, right? (okay, MAYBE on a slightly larger scale!)
You can also find a ton of clay food times in my kid's clay book! Shameless plug, over and out. 
By the way, is it one MILLION TRILLION degrees where you are? I went outside to snap these photos and was dripping sweat within the first three minutes. Summer in Tennessee is no joke, y'all. 
I need to hit my sewing room and start up on my Back to School ensembles but I so wanna make more charms. I made art supply shoe clips out of this clay a couple years ago but now I think I need a art supply charm necklace too. Oh boy. The polymer clay creatin' journey continues! 
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Thursday, January 25, 2018

Gallery of Gratitude, Part 1

Hey, y'all! I am so excited with how these kid-created portraits of the faculty and staff at my school are turning out, I thought I'd share. This is just Part 1 of the Gallery of Gratitude posts...I'll be sure and post again once these are on display.

In case you missed the first post about our Gallery of Gratitude, you can check it out here. This idea is not a new one at my school...you can see our Gallery of Gratitude from a couple years ago here
 Two of my fourth grade classes got their portraits complete. They did such a great job and I have so much left over modeling clay that I think I'm going to have them create self portraits next week. They've become pros at this and have really loved creating them. Here's the lesson video I created and used:
Here are the supplies we are using:

* Modeling or plasticine clay. No one brand is better than another. I have just been purchasing whatever is cheap at the craft store.

* Model Magic Glaze. Here's the thing: modeling clay always stays soft. These portraits will be on display for a while in my school...so I knew I'd want them to be protected with a hard varnish. This "glaze" works really well at becoming super hard. I think ModPodge might work pretty good...but this stuff is a lot harder than that. 

* Plates from Hobby Lobby. So our "frames" are actually plates from Hobby Lobby! You can probably find them online. 

* Matte board. I cut ours down into 4" squares.
 Day #1: It took us some time to cover the entire background, create a skin color and add the head, ears, neck and nose. That took us an hour, believe it or not. Chatting about the project and watching the video took some of the time too.
Day #2: We really made progress. Almost all of the kids finished their portraits...some were super close! I thought I'd share what their works in progress look like.
Biggest bit of advice: HAVE PHOTOS! The kids really studied the photos, matching outfits, hairstyles, glasses and more. My sweet buddy the bookkeeper printed off yearbook photos and each student was able to use one as a reference. I plan to hang these photos near the clay creations when on display.
 And now, forgive me while I share a ton of these cute clay portraits!
 When we take these down, they'll be gifted to the teachers, faculty and staff. The kids will also write a message of gratitude about that person to be hung with their portrait. I'll post about that in Part 2!
 In the background, the kids were asked to add something that "said" something about that person. Here's a portrait of a kindergarten teacher. 
 Those are books behind our library assistant!
 And music notes behind our music teacher!
 I am loving the giant earrings and the cherries in this portrait. 
 This teacher plays guitar in his class. The glaze was just put on so it will dry clear, not milky like you see.
 One of our custodians is also our school D.J. Here he is, outside on field day with his baseball cap on backwards spinning records.
 This background, love!
 Incredible attention to detail! This one makes me so happy!
 Artistic license was taken with hair color here and I'm loving it. 

More to come, y'all! I had to share our amazing progress!

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