Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Happy Election Day from your friends the African Amulets

Happy Election Day, USA! I hope all you American art teachers get out and vote today. The Connells were out at the polls this morning. Interestingly, it was not I, the mid-name-change Bachman-Connell, who had trouble registering, but Mr. Connell! Ha! I was listed under my maiden name, while he was nowhere to be found in the books. Luckily, our nextdoor neighbor was the big wig in charge and took care of business for us neighborhood newbies.

Anyway, here are some completed African Amulets for you to enjoy as you wait for the results to trickle in tonight!

To achieve the effect you see, kiddos painted their amulet with either black or brown tempera paint. While the paint was still wet, tiny sponges were used to dab and wipe away the desired amount of paint, leaving a stained look. I love the way the brown paint gives a wooden look, while the black looks more stone-like. The kids can't wait to take 'em home.

Paint on...
Paint off...
This amulet reflects its maker's personality, ha!

I forgot to mention earlier--we jam to African music while we do these! It makes it so much more fun! There are some expressive dancers in fourth grade, hehe.


  1. Love your amulets, they have such and authentic look painted this way :)Elizabeth

  2. What is your recipe for salt dough? How long do you bake it for? Does is go mouldy? I do pottery with my kids, but because I have to transport them to a friends kiln and back it's quite a production, so I only do it once a term. I'd love to do more 3D work, and this might be perfect! :)Elizabeth

    1. Elizabeth, I'm glad you like the pieces! I use a 1:1:2 ratio with the salt, water, and flour. So, I grab whatever little cup or container is around and fill it with salt, then water, then twice with flour. When I bake the amulets (which I do after they've slightly dried out so I can write names on the back), I bake them at 200F for as long as they need to really harden--between 30 and 60 minutes.