Wednesday, December 29, 2010

"ME" clay boxes

My son's awesome middle school art teacher, Ms. Aird, shared this clay box lesson with me and my students finished their boxes before Christmas.  As I mentioned in an earlier post, we used Crayola Air Dry clay which is not a clay I'd recommend.  It hardens quickly and cracks and crumbles easily - but with all that being said - I think my students did a great job creating fun boxes!!!

Project Goal:  Create a box that has symbols on all 4 sides and on the lid representing your personality.

Step 1:  The students completed a worksheet answering basic questions to give them ideas for the symbols they'd put on the sides of their boxes.  (Questions such as, What do you like to do in your free time? Who are the important people in your life?  Favorite foods? Favorite time of year?, etc.)  And on the bottom of the worksheet, they had to sketch ideas for each side of their box in 3 given rectangles and 2 given squares.  You can see the worksheet in the picture above.

Step 2:  Each student was given a pattern of a rectangle and a square.  Using the pattern, they had to create 4 rectangles, for the bottom - long sides- and lid, and 2 squares for the short sides of the box. We used rails and wooden dowels for creating even slabs for cutting the shapes. (One class also made another small rectangle to attach to the base of the lid so it wouldn't move around and fall off the top of the box.  The other class didn't do this step b/c we ran out of clay and their lids stayed on fine.)

Step 3: Roll skinny snakes of clay to cover up and strengthen all the inside seams of the box.  Four skinny snakes pressed and smoothed into the bottom seams, and 4 more pressed into the side seams.  Use plenty of "slip" to make the seams strong and smooth.  I like to give students small medicine bottles full w/ slip, they're airtight and easy to store for future use.  You can see boy holding one in the picture above.

Step 4: Attach symbols on all four sides of box, they can be 3D or carved in.  Attach 3D symbol on lid to act as handle.  Then paint after dry.  Some of the students didn't slip and score their attached symbols well enough and they fell off, but we glued them back on.  I also sprayed the finished boxes with clear gloss sealer.

Big thanks to North County Christian High School art students!!!

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