Monday, January 9, 2017

Clay Landscapes

Prior to Christmas I did these clay landscape plaques with Grade 5.

They had to choose one of the six geographical regions of Canada.

I was quite impressed with their work.


- clay
- fabric placemat
- nail, wooden skewer, small cup of water
- rolling pin
- reference photos if needed
- ceramic glaze
- kiln


Roll out your clay to a good sized rectangle, 8x10 or so.

My slab is about a pinky finger thickness.

Before I cut the plaque out I figure out the shape.

I draw into the clay with my finger.  I usually draw it with less pressure but I wanted you to see it here.

If you don't like it just erase it with a swipe of some water on your finger.

Using the nail cut your shape out and lift away the excess.

I tell the kids to make sure they push the nail down to the fabric, "you should feel the fabric on the end of the nail".

Before I forget I make the hole for hanging with the head of the nail pushed all the way thru.

Now it's time to start our design.  I have reference photos for the kids of the 6 geographical regions.  They pick one and create their scene.

With the leftover clay from the slab they begin cutting pieces out for the landscape.  We want to stay flat like a cookie for these pieces.

I don't use slip in my art classes, I move around too much from school to school.
I use the good old "scratch, scratch, water, water".  I teach the kids that chant before we start.  To 'glue' our clay pieces together we first make surface scratches in the base where our pieces are to go.  I use my finger dipped in water to rub water over these scratches.

I then repeat the process on the back of my landscape pieces.

I then tell the kids the scratches have to kiss. They usually groan at this idea but it gets the point across and clay gets attached correctly.

If you have extra scratches in your base just erase them with a swipe of water from your finger.

Continue to add pieces to your landscape keeping them flat so your plaque doesn't get too thick.

"Scratch, scratch, water, water"

You can some texture marks to enhance your landscape.

Scratch your name into the back of the plaque, have a partner hold it while you do this.

The landscapes then get put away to dry out for 1 to 2 weeks.  I utilize the library for this, placing them on newspaper on top of the bookshelves.

When fully dry, do the cheek test: place clay piece on your cheek if it is cold it is not dry.  I find in Calgary it usually is always a bit cold even when dry but it won't feel damp.

When the clay is dry do a bisque fire in the kiln.

After the landscapes have cooled you can glaze.

Fire again in the kiln.

That's it.

Love this prairie one.

Great flower details.

Although not a geographical region the students were allowed to do Calgary.
This student took her time and made a terrific cityscape.

See you next time.


No comments:

Post a Comment