Saturday, January 21, 2017

Clay 1 Pinch Pot Critters Nesting Birds

Nesting Bird
This was week 3 of a 4 week clay workshop for students in Kindergarten, first and second grades. We used the pinch pot techniques we've used the previous two weeks as a starting point and focused on making birds in nests.

And as every week, local artist Tina Preece worked with us as we made our birds.

Intro to Clay : The Art of the Pinch Pot : Birds in Nests
Materials Needed
Clay (we used low fire white)
Clay tools
Fabric mats

1. We looked at various artists' interpretations of birds made from a variety of media and discussed things like the type of bird, materials used, decorative techniques and use of color.

Bird sculptures by various artists

 2.  Students spent a few minutes drawing birds in their sketchbooks to consider ideas for their sculptures.
Sketching Birds
3. I did a brief demo on ways to create the bird and nest shapes. The clay was divided before class (a great time saver) into 4 oz (about 115 grams) balls. For the nest, they used one ball and made a pinch pot shape, pulling and shaping it into either a round nest or an elongated version. Modeling tools were handy in making twig and branch impressions on the outside of the nests.

4. A second ball was used for the bird. Students divided that ball into smaller shapes, reserving some for making eggs and worms. Birds were formed either by squeezing one piece into a complete bird, or by making separate head, wing, and tail shapes and adding to the main body shape, remembering to score and attach firmly, using a bit of water. Again, modeling tools were used to scratch in feather shapes and surface texture and details.

5. Lastly, eggs and worms were added to the insides of the nests.  Clay was set aside to dry and will later be fired, glazed, and fired a second time.



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