Sunday, March 28, 2010

Clay Pot Creatures

4th and 5th graders were introduced to clay in our one day workshop. While they've used non-hardening clay many times before, most of them have not used natural clay. In the past we've made wall pockets and tile pictures but this year I decided to teach the kids how to make pinch pot creatures. We used this PowerPoint for group instruction.

I was a bit surprised at how difficult this was for some kids. Some had difficulty properly making the legs. But I encouraged them on, gave individual help where needed, and eventually most caught on. My plan was that on the first day kids would just practice making pinch pot creatures and the following week they'd make one completely on their own. It's been said that the best laid plans of mice and men often go astray. I should have known. Some kids didn't want to make a pinch pot creature and had an idea of their own. Since I believe that kids should have a choice (sometime not but mostly yes) I decided that the pinch pot creature would be optional. I showed them how to make a tile, and showed a few examples of tiles I've made (for examples). And off we go!

I'll share more later as the projects begin to get finished. I have pinch pot creatures, cups and saucers, assorted tiles and other creative projects underway. I keep pictures of former student's work for examples and have found some interesting things on the net as well. This year I printed them all out making several copies of each and gluing them on construction paper. I made these pictures available as models to work from. I'm glad I did. I'd be more than happy to share what I have if there is interest. Here are a few more pictures of our first day.

I would love to hear comments and ideas of what any of you have done in the past.


  1. I had been on a cart for many years and during that time did not do many clay lesson. I am back in the art room and ordered all the supplies so we could start again this year. I teach K - 5 and work with another art teacher who is pt at the HS and pt at my school. While at the HS he teaches ceramics so I allowed him to decide our first clay project this year. He cam up with maracas - and they are SO FUN! The first wk they make 2 pinch pots. Next htey make the shaker beeds/seeds (out of clay), place them in 1 half of the pinch pot and join the two together (score & slip of course). Then I went around an made sure there was a small vent hole in each one. That was it for week 2, we placed them in plastic bags and saved them for class 3! During this time they made their maracas into whatever kind of creature they wanted. They are waiting to be fired now! Can't wait to see how they come out. I will tell you -- you can already S H A K E them!
    ~ Susan

  2. i love reading other art teacher's blogs and getting new idea's for clay projects that I haven't tried yet. Now that I've found your blog I can't wait to read it all! Hooray, this could take a while! I'm an art teacher too, currently teaching pre-K through 8th grade. Here's my blog: