This was the second class of a 4 week after school clay workshop for K-2nd grades. We continued with the Pinch Pot technique and made fish this week.
White low fire clay
Water in small containers
Canvas mats to work on
Scrap paper to place finished work on
1. I set out about a dozen images of fish sculptures made by various artists. We discussed the use of different media (metal, wood, clay, paper, mixed media, etc), the types of fish made, sizes, expressions, and use of color and detail to add interest.
2. Students then spent a few minutes making drawings in their sketchbooks to generate ideas for fish they wanted to make in clay.
3. We briefly reviewed the Pinch Pot technique used last week to make mice families. Students got a ball of clay which they split in half. They rolled one piece into a ball and pinching it, made a bowl shape.
4. The bowl shape became the body of the fish. These could be elongated with gentle tugging and shaping or left in a circular shape. The other ball was then divided into smaller bits to make fins, tails, eyes, and lips for the fish. Quick reminder to moisten the two pieces of clay being joined and to use modeling tools to smooth where the pieces were connected, to ensure a strong bond.
5. Next, modeling tools were used to add textural details to the body, fins, and tail. I reminded them to turn the sculpture and view it from all sides to ensure they were satisfied with its appearance from each angle.
6. Finally, all clay pieces were put on scraps of paper with each child's name. Names are later scratched on the bottom after allowing the pieces to dry a bit. All fish were set aside to dry and will later be fired and glazed.