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Fire No.2!

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The clay mugs are ready to be fired for the second time. They were fired once, then the kids waxed the bottom so the glaze won’t stick there. We have a discussion about how glaze works and what it’s made out of and why it has to be fired a second time. The kids dip their mugs into buckets of glaze, as I feel that they turn out better with that method than when the kids paint the glaze on. It’s always so exciting to open the kiln after a glaze fire!

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A Heard of Mythical Creatures!

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The sixth graders have finished their mythical creature paintings! I love this lesson, because it incorporates creativity as well as technique-something all artists should be able to combine! I definitely feel that this lesson went better this time. Having taught it once before I feel that I was able to give the kids better instruction on how to be successful. Check them out on Artsonia!

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Mimbres Bowls

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The clay mugs are working on drying out for their first firing, so I had the clay kids make mimbres bowls. It is a very simple, 2 to 3 day project and only requires one firing. They start with a ball of white clay, which is different from the red clay we usually use, so we talk about the differences between the two. After a lesson on the Mimbres culture and pottery, the kids make a simple “pinch pot”. They let the pinch pot dry for a day, then they paint a Mimbres design using black under glaze. They are given scratch tools to scratch into their design as well. Once that is dry, we fire them and they are ready to go! Simple technique, good lesson, cool results. See them on Artsonia!

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Ready For Their Debut!

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The clay heads are finally finished! The kids worked really hard and put in a lot of effort, and it definitely shows in their final pieces. I also put a lot of effort into refining the lesson to help the kids be more successful. I am very happy with how the clay heads went this time around! To see all the finished heads, visit us on Artsonia.

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6th Grade Creatures :)

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The sixth graders are working on their mythical creatures and are approaching the point of outlining. I dread this point of the assignment, because I have seen so many amazing creatures meet their demise due to the abyss known as black paint. I am having the kids do this exercise again, because I think it helps them develop hand eye coordination, as well as gives them a feel for how much paint to use, what size brush to select and how much pressure to apply before they jump right in to their final painting. It also helps them slow down and concentrate. It is usually a very quiet 20 minutes in the art room!

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Clay Masks Are Done!

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The sixth grade clay masks have been fired, stained, painted and decorated! They are finished and ready to be put on display in the hallway. They did a nice job, and most of them applied their knowledge of color mixing while they were painting! Good job sixth grade! To see more pictures of the finished product, visit us on Artsonia

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Clay Mugs

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The clay kids are moving on to their next project, which is the clay mug. They are doing this while the clay heads are drying, as they take at least 3 weeks to dry before we can fire them. The mugs are a bit of a relief for me. The clay heads are an extremely labor intensive project, both for the students and for me! And while I did a lot of reflecting and thinking on this project that make it go much smoother, it is still a difficult assignment. But I learn a lot and the kids learn a lot, which are both positive things! I am much happier with the way the heads turned out this time around (pictures to come later).  The mugs start out as a slab of clay wrapped around a cut PVC pipe. The kids will add texture, shapes, and a handle, and then they will be fired and glazed.

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