Wednesday, May 7, 2014

3rd Grade: Mondrian Unit (Part 2): Clay Cube Tutorial

So here is the clay cube tutorial.  Once again, I have resorted to using my slab roller to pre-roll the clay out for students.  In this case, we had to assemble our cubes in one class period because I wasn't sure that I would be able to keep the clay wet enough over a 8 day time-span in between classes.  In reality, I was able to keep the clay moist enough that we could have done this in two days, but I didn't want the students to drag it out either.

1. First, students had to cut out 6 squares from their clay slab.
2. Next, I had students bevel their edges.  That is, cut the edges (all 4) of each square at a 45 degree angle.  (This makes it easier to connect all of the pieces together.)
3. After the edges were beveled, students then had to score all four edges of each square.

4.  Next, students rubbed some slip onto the edges that they were connecting and pressed them together.  During this process, I went around and showed students how to use their fingers to simply press the clay together to get rid of the cracks from where they were connected.

5.  Lastly, the final piece was laid into place.  Students used whatever time they had left to start smoothing out their cube.
6.  Don't forget to add your initials AND poke a hole through at least one wall of clay to create an escape hatch for the air trapped inside during firing!

7.  This final step came during the second class period.  First, students smoothed out their surface and made sure their cube was shaped into as much of a cube as possible.  I showed the students how to gently drop their cube onto the table on each flat edge to help shape it back into a cube.

8.  Next, students simply laid their ruler parallel to the edges of their cube and drew in vertical and horizontal lines.  
9.  Students then made sure everything was still smooth, they picked off the "clay boogers" they made from carving their lines into their cubes, re-carved their initials and re-poked their hole on their cube for safe measures.

Part 3:  Glazing the Mondrian Cubes Coming soon!
Part 4:  Finished Cubes Coming soon!

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