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Arts & Activities - Page 18
T o make some whimsical animal pottery which can be glaze-fired, the only techniques you need to teach to your third- and fourthgraders are those of the simple pinch pot and the rolling and attaching of slabs. A simple pinch pot can be made by pushing your thumb into a ball of clay and gently squeezing the ball to hollow it out. I like students to form a ball of clay, set it on the table and use both thumbs to gently open up the inside of the ball. This forms the inside of the pot by repeatedly squeezing or pinching the clay ball until it turns into a small bowl or pot, which can be manipulated into any shape of vessel or pot you desire. For instance, if you start out with a small, round bowl shape and desire an oblong shape for a penguin’s body, you just pull and stretch the clay into that form. It you want it in a triangle shape to form an odd-shaped bird, you gently pull the opened-up form into a triangular shape. The pinch pot is one of the most primitive ways to make a vessel out of clay. It’s also one of the easiest and foolproof—as long as you make sure no air bubbles have formed in the clay. It’s thought that the Stone Age man formed pots in this way from earthen clay to make his pots for cooking food and for other uses. Today, potters use this technique alone or in combination see WONDERFUL on page 34 Clay, Wonderful Clay by Karen Skophammer Clay fish bowl. Clay penguin bowl. Clay frog bowl. LEARNING OBJECTIVES elementary students will . • understand simple clay terms. • manipulate clay to form a pinch pot. • manipulate clay to successfully roll and cut slabs of clay. • successfully join slabs of clay to a pinch pot to form an animal. • understand how clay and pinch pots fit in with relation to history and culture. Clay gator bowl before and after glazing. MATERIALS • • Clay and slip Rolling pin • • Clay tools Glazes in bright colors NATIONAL STANDARDS • • • • 18 Understand and apply media, techniques and processes. Choose and evaluate a range of subject matter, symbols and ideas. Understand the visual arts in relation to history and cultures. Understand the characteristics and merits of their own work and the work of others. februar y 2013 • 80 years x www.ar tsandactivities.com