Bisque Animal Pots

Bisque animal pots.

Bisque animal pots.

2nd graders are in the process of making animal pots!  We use clay skills that we acquired in kindergarten and first grade and add a new technique: score and slip!  First, students filled out a planning sheet.  They drew and labelled a sketch with their animal to help guide them when they begin working in clay.  We started by building pinch pots to form the animal body.  Then, students referred to their planning sheets to help them build legs, tails, heads, wings, and any other necessary parts.  We used toothbrushes to scratch up the surfaces to be joined (scoring) and add wet clay to help the pieces adhere (slip).  Students also used their thumbs to smudge and blend the joined edges together.  I remind students that every step in score and slip is important and cannot be skipped; if you do, you run the risk of your animal’s parts falling off!  Mrs. Pittore and Mrs. McCarthy’s classes left their pots out to dry over the winter break.  I’ve just pulled them out of the kiln and they look fantastic!  At this stage, the clay is bisque.  It has been fired once in the kiln, but it hasn’t been glazed yet.  That is our next step!

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Coil Pots

3rd graders used the score and slip technique to create coil pots.

3rd graders used the score and slip technique to create coil pots.

3rd graders in Mrs. Sheridan’s class used clay this afternoon to build coil pots!  We started by rolling a ball of clay and then flattening it to create a base.  Next, we rolled out coils of clay.  A lot of students are already familiar with rolling coils.  If you’ve ever rolled a snake out of Play-Doh, you’ve made a coil!  We learned the score and slip technique to attach our coils to the base securely.  Some students chose to attach a coil to the side of their pots to create a handle.  We will let the clay dry completely before it is fired in the kiln.  Afterwards, students will glaze their pots.  The rest of the 3rd grade classes will begin their coil pots soon!

3rd Grade Coil Pots

3rd grade glazed coil pots

3rd grade glazed coil pots

3rd graders have been working on their ceramic coil pots.  Students started by creating a simple pinch pot.  They then learned how to roll coils of clay.  It’s just like making a snake out of Play-dough, which a lot of them have done before!  We learned the very important score and slip technique to attach the coils to the pots.  In art, a score is a scratch or a shallow cut.  Slip is clay with water added to it — gloppy and fun!  Score and slip involves scratching the two pieces of clay you’d like to join together and using a paintbrush to gently brush slip onto the scratches.  This ensures everything is very securely joined.  One of the trickiest things for students to understand is that simply pressing two pieces of clay together is not always enough to attach them securely!  Some students used coils to add height to their pot, and others used it to make handles or lids.  They used extra clay to add details and decorations if they wished.  The pots were fired in the kiln last week, and Mrs. Frein’s and Mrs. Nigro’s classes glazed them today.  After one more trip to the kiln, they will be ready to go home!