Friday, January 18, 2013
I seem to be on a clay kick lately...which I'm liking and disliking. I LOVE working with clay, but my patience gets pushed to the edge with students when they don't think while using it. I HATE wasted clay, just as much as I HATE trying to reclaim all the wasted clay. (Case in point, I have just finished the slab poinsettia unit with 4th grade, the checkerboard unit with 5th, and 6th is currently doing clay projects....I can't tell you how many kids were asking me how to score and slip clay! I hate to admit it, but I nearly lost my patience!)
When I started teaching in this classroom, there were 3 FULL bins of dried out clay, plus 6-8 boxes of unopened, dried out clay. How do you deal with dry clay? Do you reclaim it? How do you reclaim clay? My first two years, I hate to admit it, but I threw out some perfectly good, hard clay. I just didn't have the room! This year, though, I've decided to grit my teeth and bare it. I've started wearing jeans to school so I'm not ruining my good clothes, and I'm getting down and dirty! (I'd take a picture to show you, but I'm sure you don't want to see my clay covered bottom! ;) )
Today I pulled out my first batch of red clay from the slop bin. I'm trying it two ways here...I filled two empty clay bags with the wet clay and I've laid some out on one of the wedging tables the art department has here. That red barrel was full to the top with clay... Here's hoping I don't make too much more of a mess while I try to save some money!
Anyways, I decided to do a clay project with the extended day kids (which is what got me motivated to try and reclaim clay...I already seem to be running out of clay from wastefulness!). Last year I purchased four sets of slump and hump molds in different shapes (square, circle, oval, rectangle) and then this year, I purchased two foot sprig molds, a handle sprig mold, clay texture rollers, and some clay stamps. I figured it was time to use them! Plus, I used my new slab roller as well, which works awesome!
I have already loaded the projects in the kiln to save on space, so I'll have more pictures to come once we get around to glazing them next week. I'll be firing my kiln on Tuesday next week, and then I will also be able to share the latest 6th grade project, which was creating an Egyptian artifact out of clay.