Thursday, February 20, 2014

Studio Art: Ceramic Unit Part 2: Pinch

In hindsight, I supposed I probably should have done this project before the slab year.  For this project, I was first looking for perfection.  I know, I know...perfection in art class?  For this, it was doable and every single student succeeded in my opinion!  For this two-part sphere challenge, students were asked to create the most perfect sphere out of two pinch pots.

The first step was to make two pinch pots of about the same size and score and slip them together.

Next, students used a ruler to slap and shape their hollow ball of clay.

Some rolled their spheres on the table to help smooth the surface, others used a wooden rib tool to scrape and smooth the edge.  I did not encourage the use of an elephant ear sponge and water to smooth the spheres.  The only students who used that as an option were students whose clay started to crack towards the end.

 Once everyone completed their spheres...we invited the administrators into the classroom to judge them.  This is the challenge part.  I offered, to the winner, the choice of being able to opt out of a quiz, a homework assignment or for me to buy them a king size candy bar.  Amazingly, I think both winners opted for the candy bar!  Since all of the students did such an awesome job, I did buy some bags of candy and planned on giving them a free day before February break (of which we ended up having a snow day...go figure!).
Students lined up their spheres on a number so the administrators could pick the winner from each class.

The "part-two" of this project is this: students had to carve a non-objective line design into the surface of their sphere.  We will glaze these using the glazes I have specifically for red clay. ***It's also really important to note that before these were set out to dry, students had to poke at least one hole with a needle tool through the surface of the sphere.  This way, the air inside as a route to escape so the spheres don't all blow up in the kiln!***

Part three of the ceramic unit has not been started yet...upon return from February break, students will glaze these projects for firing and then we will work on the last project of the ceramics unit, coils!


  1. Love! I want to come and take your ceramics class! I never got to do stuff like this!