Friday, November 2, 2012

playing with clay.


I'm tired. The first grade classes and I have spent the last 3 days making clay flowers.  I rolled out at least 100 slabs during the time. I'm so out of shape, I'm sore:)

We focused on identifying and using different textures in art. I saw these flowers by Charity Hofert a while back and thought they would make a terrific way of introducing how things feel to the kids.

The kids got a a 3x3" piece a clay and a 6x6" one. They then pressed a plastic texture plate into the smaller one. There was lots of pounding going on. They really had to get their little bodies into it to make a good impression. In turn, I did a lot of pressing as well.

We then drew out the flower shape on the smaller piece and then cut it out with plastic carving tools.

We repeated the process for the larger piece and students switched plastic sheets so they would have a different texture. we then rolled up a small piece of leftover clay and pressed one more texture into that one.

We stacked the pieces and then used ONE FINGER to apply slip to the small and medium pieces to stick them together. Some kids followed this application rule, others did not:)

The kids loved doing this project. The cutting out of the shapes was challenging for some, but all of the pieces are unique and very cool looking.

Students will glaze the pieces the next time I meet with their classes. My plan is to show them as a group wall installation and then return most of them to the kids, and holding onto a number of them for our annual student art show. I'll share the finished pieces when we get there:)

Some samples I made.

All 8 classes. 


  1. Wow, these are going to be fabulous! I already have an adaptation idea!! :)Elizabeth

  2. These will be beautiful! I love the idea of a whole wall of them.

  3. Oh my - what a lot of slabs! I'm anxious to see the finished pieces - they look great so far...Thanks for the idea!

  4. I love this idea!! Thanks for sharing, I can't wait to see what the finished product looks like!

  5. I have some of her flowers on my desk at work! I love them. I was planning on creating textured sunflowers as a follow up to our flower paintings.
    Question for you: How did you get the plastic texture sheets not to stick to the clay? I tried it once (although it was model magic I think) and they stuck to the clay.

    1. Send me a link when you complete your project:)
      As for the sticking issue- after I made the slabs I left them out in the open for at least 20 minutes with a fan on above them. This firmed up the pieces just enough so they wouldnt stick to the sheets. There were a few that I rushed through this drying stage and a few did stick. We either fixed them or I gave the kids a new slab. Also, most of the kids werent pressing hard enough for them to stick:)

  6. A few kind words from Charity-

    Hi Don,
    Thanks so much for being in touch! I love what you did with your kids and i am so honored to have been part of the inspiration!! I am going to share this on my page, if you don't mind.
    Thank you so much for sharing this with me! The children's work looks incredible and i hope that you will share the finished, glazed pieces as well!!
    Very warmly,