Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Father's Day Clay

This is a work in progress.  Kindergarten did clay today and although I don't have one all glazed and fired to show you I thought I'd give you a peek.

When done it will be a change/key/cell phone dish for Dad.


- clay
- fabric placemat
- a penny nail
- wooden skewer
- little cup of water
- rolling pin
- 'D' and 'A' rubber stamps
- small chinet plate
- kiln


Cut a slab off your clay block.  Using a rolling pin roll a slab about 1/2 inch thick.

Take your chinet plate and turn it upside down onto the clay slab.  Cut around it with the nail.

You want to use a heavy paper plate not foam as we will be putting the clay back into the plate to help hold the shape while the plate is drying out.

Remove the excess clay from around the circle you cut.  Use some of it to cut a circle for the head.  With Kindergarten we used round cookie cutters that I had.

Attach to your dish by "scratch, scratch, water, water".  Little surface scratches on the surfaces to be stuck together, rub some water with your finger over the scratches.  The scratches then have to 'kiss'.  (that always makes it easy for the kids to remember how it works)

Start adding the features.  Eyes, nose, mouth, ears, etc.

Add DAD with the rubber stamps.

With the extra clay roll a long snake and attach around the rim of the plate.

Place back in the paper plate to dry.

Drape for at least 24 hrs under plastic and then let dry out fully for 1-2 weeks. (depends a lot on the humidity in your area)

Remove paper plate and then bisque fire in the kiln.  Glaze or paint as you wish.

It was great to see all the Dads.

There is still time to do this project.  I will update you on the finished plates.

See you soon.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Mixed Media Turtle

I have been spending some time painting turtles this long weekend.

As I tried to capture that texture it wasn't long before I was making a textured canvas.

It's like a mosaic as you design each section.


- cereal or cracker box cardboard, corrugated cardboard
- primed canvas or you can use a nice rectangle of cardboard as a substrate (base)
- acrylic paint, blue, brown, tan or linen, green, yellow, black
- gesso
- drywall compound
- found items or tools to add texture, (bubble wrap, foam, lego)
- wax paper
- tacky glue
- metal washers
- cheesecloth, crackle medium, optional
- wc or heavy paper (poster board, manila tag), white tissue paper
- mod podge, optional


Take a piece of corrugated cardboard and cut out a turtle shell shape.

Gather some tools to texture the drywall compound.

I use bubble wrap, lego pieces work well, combs, I also recently found this textured craft foam.

Take some drywall compound and place on a recycled plate.

Spread on the shell.  You can use a plastic spatula (hardware store) or just your finger.

Because I will be adding individual pieces to the shell I don't texture it.

On some thin cardboard (cereal or cracker box) spread on some drywall compound and then use tools to apply texture.

You can do a big piece that you will later cut into smaller pieces.

or cut out the small pieces

and texture each one separately.  Here I am using plastic wrap to add wrinkles and a wooden skewer to add lines.

Set aside to dry.  It takes about 6 hrs.

While you drywall compound is drying paint your canvas or cardboard substrate (base).  If you are using cardboard prime with a coat of gesso.

I wanted some different textures for the flippers and feet.

On some light cardboard I did 2 different techniques.
On the first I painted it a light linen colour and then added crackle medium.  Set aside to dry.

On the other piece I painted it the same light linen colour and then laid a piece of cheesecloth on top.  I added more paint on top to 'stick' it in place.

Let dry.

I also wanted some textured paper for the kelp.

Using gesso I 'glued' tissue, streamer and old book pages to a piece of heavy paper.

You could also use white glue to do this.

Set aside to dry.

While my gesso was out I added some to my metal washers.  This will allow me to paint them with acrylic later on.

When my drywall compound dried I added colour to my shell pieces.

If you did one large piece cut out the individual shell pieces before you paint.  If you wait you'll find your paint gets scratched off as you cut.

Paint the large shell shape as well.  Make it a contrasting colour to your shell pieces, like grout on a tile floor.

I also painted my cheesecloth piece with watery brown paint.

I did the same with my crackle medium piece.  Be sure to follow the directions on the bottle regarding the timing for this.

I painted my metal washers black.

Paint the heavy paper as well.  I used green, blue and a touch of yellow.

I've been playing around with spray inks so I added a little as well.

From the heavy paper cut some kelp and glue onto the background with tacky glue.

From the cheesecloth and crackle cardboard I cut the flippers, feet and head.  I used the large shell as a guide to glue them in place.  I then glued the large shell piece on top.

Start to glue on your small shell pieces.  If you lay it all out first it is easier.  Start with your largest piece in the centre and then work around it.

With my sharpie pen I added some details to the face.

The background needed a touch of something so using a straw, end of a skewer and a cap I added bubbles in different sizes with white and silver paint.

Add a coat of Mod podge to seal and give you that nice shiny look.

That's it.  You could always add a poem or text to take it further.

See you next time.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Mother's Day Portraits

So I'm stuck at home with a sick kid today but that has given me time to prep for tomorrow's lesson with Grade 4.

As a Mom I love handmade Mother's Day gifts.  This year Grade 4 will do portraits.

Last year Kindergarten did one for Father's day.


- canvas board, you can get this at the Dollar store, 2 for a $1.00, we are using 6x8
- acrylic paint
- decorative tape
- plain paper
- coloured pencils, crayons (twistables)
- fine sharpie
- scissors
- bright buttons
- coloured paper, scrapbooking paper
- bright buttons
- 'M' letters, I used the Cricut 
- Mod podge
- ribbon and glue gun for hanger


Paint canvas board with acrylic paint.  Set aside to dry.

Using  a piece of paper cut slightly smaller than the canvas board sketch out Mom's portrait.

Add some colour using coloured pencils and crayon.  Because we are going to podge this portrait we do not want to use anything water soluble or it will just smear.

Using a fine sharpie do some outlining.  With Grade 4 we will do the sketch technique.  We don't want to do every line and we want some gaps in our outlines so it looks more like a sketch.

Cut out.  You can get tight to the portrait like with the Dad portrait or leave some background.

Set portrait aside.  Wrap the edges of the canvas with decorative tape which I also found at the Dollar store.

Now we add the word MOM.  I cut out a bunch of M's with the Cricut but you could also hand letter or print letters out from the computer and trim.

For the O we are making a little flower.  Mine is quite circular but you could also cut in petal shapes.  Out of scrapbooking paper or coloured paper cut 2 circle shapes. Glue into place and add button.

Give your portrait a nice coat of podge to secure everything and to add a nice gloss.

Add a ribbon loop to the back for hanging.

That's it.