Thursday, January 10, 2013

Pinch Pot Palooza

My second graders are very excited. And I am equally messy. Because it's time for clay!

Our elementary art curriculum is extremely forgiving. There are very few specifics. For instance, though each grade level is charged with completing a clay project, the project is up to each individual art teachers--all two of us.

Like my colleague and the art teacher who came before me, I introduce basic clay modeling and imprinting in first grade before moving onto the basic pinch pot in second grade. But that's about it. Basic pinch pots. Without a kiln. UGH.

I spend a day introducing and practicing the pinch pot technique with the kiddos. We use modeling clay to rehearse pinching like crabs!

God bless yard sales. I think that crab hat was a whoppin' 25 cents.
When the kiddos think they've got it down, I slice their pots to check for uneven walls. They LOVE this because it involves destruction (haha), and I love it because it's a great visual.

Sometimes it feels like a waste of a day, although I've tried to squeeze everything into one 45-minute period in the past and that didn't work out so well for me (or for the pots).

On day two, I pull out my endless supply of air-dry clay... I KNOW, I KNOW, AIR DRY CLAY IS THE WORST. But alas, I am without a kiln and have not yet committed to hauling several hundred clay projects from my buildings to the middle or high school kilns. So, we deal.

I'm always excited to see how the students get creative with the basic pinch pot premise. Sometimes they get fancy...

"This is a pot within a pot."
YES! I'm praying that bird's head survives the air-dry process.

... and sometimes not.

Basic as it may be, I'm a fan of the pinch pot. Where do you stand on the ol' PP? Do you jazz yours up? Does your fanciness come in during the painting/glazing phase? Any suggestions on how to kick these up a notch without the love of a kiln? Let's talk.

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