5 lbs of low-fire clay body (Cone 06/05)
SC-6 Sunkissed, SC-11 Blue Yonder, SC-14 Java Bean, SC-15 Tuxedo, SC-16 Cottontail, SC-53 Purple Haze, SC-74 Hot Tamale, SC-75 Orange-a-peel
CD1073 Mayco® Design Press Tools (Leaf Designs), MT002 Mayco® Designer Mats (Wood Grain), X10081 Xiem Modeling & Carving Tools (set of 9), AC-213 Sponge-on--Stick (1.25” round), and Large Rolling Pin
Pencil, Paper Towels, and Palette
For grade levels 9-12
Many ancient and contemporary stories include non-human characters that speak words of wisdom and guidance to aid the main character. These characters come in the form of various natural elements, often trees with human- like faces. This lesson plan invites students to create a tree with a voice and a personality.
Students will learn the steps of creating with clay including construction, bisque firing, glazing, and glaze firing
Students will connect a story to their sculpture. They will examine how the expression of the tree’s face relates to the words that it might speak
Students will write a short narrative to coincide with their sculpture. They may share their stories with the class
- Understanding and Applying Media, Techniques, and Processes
- Using Knowledge of Structures and Functions
- Choosing and Evaluating a Range of Subject Matter, Symbols, and Ideas
Roll out a quarter inch thick slab for the tree trunk. Use the MT-002 Wood Grain Designer Mat and roll in texture into the slab. Wrap the slab around a cylinder and score and slip together to create the base of the tree. Use the remains to create the branches.
Using CD1073 Mayco® Design Press Tools (Leaf Designs), make at least 10 leaves to score and slip onto the tree. Attach where desired.
Use X10081 Xiem Modeling & Carving Tools (set of 9) to create the facial features on the center of the tree trunk. Make the face reveal an emotion. Curve the eyebrows and mouth in various directions to quickly change the expression of the face.
Create a nest by making a pinch bowl and scratching the outside of it using a serrated rib or X10081 Xiem Modeling & Carving Tools.
Pinch or coil build a bird shape and use the X10081 Xiem Modeling & Carving Tools for detailing the feathers, eyes, and beak. If the bird is more than 1 inch thick, hollow the bird so that it does not explode in the kiln during the firing process. Let dry. Bisque fire to Cone 04.
To glaze this project, start by antiquing the whole form with SC- 14 Java Bean. Antiquing is accomplished by glazing the body of the tree all over with SC-14 Java Bean (1 coat) then with a damp sponge, wipe away the majority of the glaze, leaving some glaze behind in the crevices. This will accent the texture of the trunk.
Next sponge SC-6 Sunkissed over the whole trunk and branch pieces. Use SC-6 Sunkissed, SC75-Orange A Peel, and SC74-Hot Tamale to glaze the leaves. Apply by dabbing with a sponge.
SC-11 Blue Yonder, SC-15 Tuxedo, and SC-16 Cottontail were used to create the eyes. SC-53 Purple Haze and SC-74 Hot Tamale, and SC-11 Blue Yonder were used on the bird. Apply with a brush.
Let glaze dry completely. Sponge off glaze on bottom of piece to avoid sticking to the kiln shelf. Glaze fire to Cone 06/05.