Monday, June 30, 2014

Clay Fish, Made Just in Time

I've been so busy enjoying my summer that I've been a neglectful blogger.  I wanted to write about this last-minute clay project that I snuck in just under the end-of-the-school-year wire.  Of course, I got the idea at a conference as I do so many. It was a total success!

The basic idea is that students use detailed drawings or images of fish to make their own out of clay.  I had a bunch of diagrammed black line fish drawings I used to use with second grade for an analogous fish project (I really should do that one again!) that my third graders used.  I demonstrated making a basic pinch pot, putting 1-2 crumpled paper towels inside and then pinching it to form the fish.  Easy-peezy and so successful for the end of the year!

A fish ready for firing.

A whole school of fish in my kiln!
Freshly fired fish.
In the above photo, you can see where one fin broke off.  There was very minimal breakage (that might have been the only thing), only happening when they pinched fins too thin.
We then painted our fish with cake temperas, using as much color as we wanted:

This was a great way to use up some of the last of some cake temperas I was planning on throwing out at the close of school (they get so mixed and GROSS). One class did try mixing some glitter medium into their paint, but none of us felt it was worth the hassle and you really had to strain to see any glitter.

Final step was a coat of gloss medium.

I do love how this project turned out, and I'd probably do it again, I just wouldn't wait until the last two weeks of school!
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