Friday, December 3, 2010

Recycled & Re-usable clay tool

We're working on building some clay boxes, which are turning out really fun.  Hopefully we'll finish next week and I'll post pics.
Meanwhile, thought I'd share the scoring tools we're using on this project.  Made them from recycled plastic containers.  (By the way, I used Crayola air dry clay for this project and I DON'T recommend it.  Someone online suggested Amaco, which I can't wait to use and compare to the crackly-crumbly-more-expensive Crayola clay.  If you've used a good air-dry clay, please share.) 
Here is the way I made a recycled & reusable scoring tool for every student.  They worked great. Of course an opened up paper clip or other sharp edge will work fine too, but these seemed more special for the kids.

Then attach pieces using the rest of the "5 S's for attaching Clay"
 1.  Score
2.  Slip
3.  Slide
4.  Smush
5.  Smooth
(In case you're like I was a short time ago, and not up on clay terms.....1.  "scoring" is roughing up the pieces being attached.  2. "slip" is when you mix a little clay with water and make a wet-gluey-clay substance that helps hold pieces together.  3.  "slide" is sliding both pieces back and forth a wee bit until you can feel them locking together and resistance is present.  4. "smush" press pieces together a bit.  5. "smooth" together and erase seams.)
Big thanks to my son's 8th grade art teacher, Ms. Aird, for sharing those 5 S's with me!!!!!


Phyl said...

I like the 5 S's. I always tell the kids to wiggle the pieces together like you're trying to get the jelly to squirt out the sides of a PBJ sandwich.

I (unfortunately) also use air dry clay. They all have their flaws. I try to do things that can be completed in one session (demo in prior class so they just need quick review) to avoid some of the problems. I mostly use Marblex and Mexican Pottery Clay, but they are a poor sub for the 'real thing' There's a white kind tht I can't remember the name of (NOT Crayola). Stonex maybe? It dried nicely and was strong, but also too expensive. Good luck!!

Marcia Beckett said...

cool tool! We just use plastic silverware and toothpicks for our tools.. fork for scoring, knife for cutting, spoon for smoothing. toothpicks for fine details. I have tried out tons of air dry clay and all of them suck! The only one that I had any luck with was Prang air dry clay. I typically only use regular firing clay now, it's just not worth the hassle. The rest all break easily. good luck!

Nancie Kay said...

Two more possibilities for cheap, inexpensive scoring tools: Toothbrushes & combs. The toothbrush, dipped in water before scoring, actually creates its own 'slip' so if they forget that step (I use 'score, slip, press)there's a better chance of the pieces staying together. An art colleague of mine collects the disposable combs used on 'picture day' at her school & they work great too!