Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Clay Owls

White clay is colored with construction paper crayons
In the fall, I went to a state convention and saw the most amazing idea for finishing a bisque-fired clay project. The teacher had the students color on their clay with construction paper crayons, and then paint the whole surface with black tempera paint (creating a wax-resist on clay), wiping the paint off so that it just fills in the crevices, leaving the colored areas bright with lots of contrast. I knew it would be perfect for a clay owl project that I do every few years.

I am always looking for single-fired clay projects since I do not have a kiln at my school. When I do clay, I have to pack up all of the (hundreds!) of little clay sculptures, while they are leather hard and haul them to another school, where my mentor fires them and unloads them in and out of the kiln. While I love the look of glaze, it adds several more trips and firings to the whole process. It is a lot of work for me. This also allowed the students to take the project home a whole lot sooner since they were not waiting for it to be glaze fired.

Note: coloring on the clay really chews up your construction paper crayons, so be sure to order plenty if you are doing it with hundreds of kids. ;-)

Materials: white earthenware (bisque fired)
construction paper crayons
tempera paint
After coloring with crayons, students paint over the surface with black paint. It creates amazing contrast with the color!

A Harry Potter owl!

To get those cool eyes, we used repurposed spools of thread to stamp the clay.

I did this project with 2nd, 3rd and 4th grade. The results were stunning. I really did not want to send them home!!

1 comment:

  1. I'll definitely be doing this one - a great way to use up all the horrible crayon bits and pieces.I know exactly what you mean about the kiln - I have to use a friends! So I never glaze, but usually have the kids paint their bisque fired pottery with house paint - it covers well and is relatively water proof. I love you to visit me at Dream Painters :)