Grade One started these plates a month ago....Christmas is a busy time with the kiln. With all the projects needing to be completed I have to make sure I schedule it right.
We start off rolling out a slice of clay...we want it to be about 1/2 inch thick.
We place a lunch sized paper plate on the clay and using a skewer cut out our plate shape.
You'll notice I covered the paper plate with plastic wrap....this just ensures it doesn't stick. I'll remove it in a few days and place the clay plate back in the paper plate until it is fully dry.
Lift up your clay and place in the paper plate. Using a bit of water smooth your edge so it isn't jagged or sharp.
They then rolled a snake shape to create their manger. We did the roof first and then added the sides.
I always tell the kids "scratch, scratch..water, water" to get them to remember the have to score the surfaces they want to stick together as well as add a bit of water.
Once the manger was created they worked on Mary and Joseph. I had them cut a body shape and a head out of rolled out clay with the skewer.
I find skewers work the best for cutting shapes...the kids have more control than with plastic tools.
You need to make a cradle, just a little banana or crescent moon shape as well as a little baby Jesus.
Then using small cookie cutters we made a star shape for the top of our manger.
To attach just scratch the area where you want the hay/hair to go and add a touch of water...you can't really scratch the hay/hair itself.
Let it dry for approximately 2 weeks to ensure a good result in the bisque fire.
Here are some of the Nativity's the Grade Ones completed.