Saturday, October 2, 2010

Clay Pins and Necklaces

I've done this project a few times with my kids in various grades.  One year we did it as a fundraiser for our permanent art collection.  We made over 1000 pins/necklaces and sold them for $2.00 each.  Each student made 2 pins/necklaces so that everyone could donate one and take one home.  This was a bit crazy for me because I had over 2000 pins that I had to glue backs on to or lace string into!

So here is how we made our pins and necklaces:

First we talk about texture-actual texture and simulated texture.  We discuss how things feel and I ask the kids to give examples of things that are soft, spiky, hard, rough, smooth, etc.  They always come up with great examples.  I point out to them that almost all of us wear something that has texture on it every day.  Usually they think a bit about this and then I get various answers and someone always mentions their shoes.  We talk about the various answers and how each feels.  Then we talk a little more in depth about our shoes.  Why do shoes have texture on them?  How does that texture help us? 

Then I show them how the texture on our shoes can make simulated texture ( a print) and actual texture (an impression). 

Next we talk about clay and kilns.  Kids love clay!  Which explains why every year the kids ask if we can make pins and necklaces again.

So here is how to make your pin or necklace:

1. Take a small ball of clay and roll it into a ball.  Just a pinch of clay -a bit larger than a grape depending on how big you want them to be.
2. Place the ball of clay on a scrap of paper.
3. Place it on the floor.
4. Gently step on the clay ball. If you stomp on the clay it will stick to the bottom of your shoe and then be difficult to remove. 
5. Peal the clay off of your shoe if you have to and admire the beautiful texture that your shoe has created!
6. If it is going to be a necklace you will need to put a small hole in the clay while it is still soft.

7. Allow to dry and then fire in the kiln.  I carve each name into the back of the pin/necklace and the homeroom. 
8. During our next class we glaze our pins and necklaces.
9. Then I fire them again. 

More photos to come later!  Stop back

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