Thursday, June 3, 2010

The end is in sight.

I can't believe that there's less than two weeks of school left. I still have projects to finish and a lot of cleaning to do! The kids are ready for summer break and it's probably a good thing to take a break. But I'm already thinking about how I will do things a bit differently next year.

We are nearly finished with our 4th and 5th grade clay projects. It's interesting how one can start out a project with one idea in mind and find that it takes a on a life of its own as things progress. That's the case with our clay pinch pot creatures. You can see the beginning lesson here. It was my idea to have all the kids create a clay pot creature. Yet it didn't take long for me to hear, "Do we have to make a clay pot creature or can we come up with our own idea?" Now what is an art teacher supposed to do with that? There are many things one can create with clay and a clay pot creature isn't a "must know" skill. So after the workshop on how to make a clay pot creature, I found some pictures of other project ideas, made some cards and gave kids choices. I'm so glad I did. I'll post the pictures to my website as soon as I can get things on the computer back in order. I've had to reformat my drive and am still in the process of updating and reinstalling my software.

I was very intrigued with the clay project on the left. Where he got this idea I don't know. It's turned out very nicely after firing. This year I had more projects crack during firing than I've ever before experienced. A few explosions occurred as well. In most cases the kids failed to re-wedge their clay. I think this is my fault. Even one of my examples (my dinosaur) lost its head. But a little glue and acrylic paint and they looked just fine. The one on the right cracked in three pieces. The student failed to score the leg/body connection and those fell off. After an initial gluing with a craft glue, I filled the holes with hot glue. It did the trick.

I hope to complete all the painting/glazing/firing next week. At the moment, all the projects that are completed are on display in the library. I'm very happy with the results.