Friday, February 24, 2012

Pinch Pots

Our 2nd and 3rd Grade students are creating Pinch Pots from clay!
For this lesson, we began by talking about the properites of clay.  How is it different than Play-doh?  Where does it come from?  Then we talked about what we can do with clay.  Do we throw it?  Do we roll it?

As part of many art lessons, we learn about the history associated with the lesson.  For this lesson, we discussed Greek Pottery.  Greek pots were functional in purpose.  They could not buy pots and bowls at Wal-Mart so they needed to create their own.  We looked at a few ancient Greek pots for examples.
Pottery with Red Figure
Pottery with Black Figure

We then moved on to the creative process in art.  The students began by exploring the clay.  They rolled the clay into a ball, flattened it into a pancake and became familiar with it's properties. We then began to make our Pinch Pots.  I asked the students to pay particular attention to the thickness of the walls of their pots.  The walls should be as thick as an eraser or as an Oreo cookie.  The students then used a wooden tool to draw decorations on the side of their pot and finally to write their name on the bottom of their pot.
These are pictures of just a few of our many pinch pots

3rd Grade Pinch Pot

3rd Grade Pinch Pot 
Tray of Leatherhard Pinch pots
The pinch pots dry for 2-3 days from a leatherhard stage to a greenware stage.  The pots are then fired in our Kiln.  They "bake" in the kiln for about 8 hours and reach a temperature or about 2,000 degrees Farenheit.  When they are removed from the kiln, they are considered bisque ware.
These are some pictures of bisque ware pots:

Pinch Pots that have been fired in the Kiln

 The Pinch Pots are then painted with a glaze.  The students were permitted to pick one color for the glaze as the colors run together.
Painting the pinch pots

The pots are then set to dry for one more day.  When the glaze is dry, they are put into the Kiln for another firing.  Then are fired to Cone 06 again.
Bisqueware painted with Glaze

Pots painted with Glaze

Finally the Pinch Pots are placed back into the Kiln to fire again for about 8 hours until they reach "Cone 06" temperature.  This is the finished product:

Bright Blue Glazed Pinch Pot

Pinch Pots

Pink Glazed Pinch Pot

Purple glazed Pinch Pot

Thursday, February 16, 2012


Our students have just finished a lesson on Printmaking.

1st grade students created patterns with styrofoam incised plates.  We discussed basic symbols as well as how to make an "A B A" pattern.

2nd grade students created animal pictures.  We used animal models to learn how to draw an animal figure.  After creating 4 sketches, the kids choose their favorite animal drawing.  They then transferred their drawing to a Styrofoam plate and created a series of prints.

3rd grade students created monogramed cards from printing with styrofoam incised plates.  They were given the option to use their cards for Valentines day, thank you cards or any other idea.

4th grade students began a unit on architecture.  We discussed Frank Lloyd Wright then designed their own building. Finally, they created a series of prints with their Styrofoam incised plates.
Here are a few examples of artwork created in the 4th grade classes.

As part of my current Graduate school class, I created a Glogster to show the students about Printmaking.  Thankfully, I have a gorgeous projector in my classroom that is connected to my computer.  This gives me the capability to project this Glog onto the white board in the Art Room.

You can see the Printmaking Glogster here: