Lowfire Earthenware Clay
Foundations, Elements, Stroke & Coat
Designer Stamps, Brushes: Fan, Liner and Round, Detailer Bottle with Writer Tip, Synthetic Sponges
Wire Clay Cutter, Slab Roller or Rolling Pin, Wood Slats 6” L x ½” W x ½” D, Ruler, Rubber rib, 6”x6” template, Fettling (or Plastic) Knife, Pony (or 2” wide) Roller, Pencil, Masking Tape
For grade levels 5-8
This exciting project in clay incorporates basic slab construction with a student friendly texture technique using rubber stamps. Each student will create an original clay tile with rubber stamp textures in wet clay to frame the tile. The space free of texture, or “clay canvas,” invites the artist to display an image, i.e.: portrait, landscape, still- life, etc. of choice and encourages the student to express personal ideas and creativity.
Glazing will include applying color to enhance the area of texture and the layering of decorative colors to create the students’ image of choice.
Students will learn the steps of creating with clay including construction, bisque firing, glazing, and glaze firing
- Understanding and Applying Media, Techniques, and Processes
- Using Knowledge of Structures and Functions
- Choosing and Evaluating a Range of Subject Matter, Symbols, and Ideas
- Use a slab roller to roll a slab of clay to ½" thickness using wood slats as thickness guides. Alternative option: give each student three to four pounds of clay and a rolling pin – use a ruler or wood slats to produce their own ½” slab.
- Smooth both front and back sides of clay slab with a rubber rib.
- Place 6” x 6” template made from stiff cardboard or other firm material on top of slab and use fettling knife to cut out a 6” square.
- Create a textured frame for the smooth, untextured image area by pressing the rubber stamp along the outer edge of the tile with pony roller. Use the entire rubber stamp or specific designs or sections of it. Gently raise stamp up after each pressing.
- Let the clay dry and Bisque fire to Cone 04.
- Glaze choices and techniques can add interest to the textured frame. Elements produce variegated earth tones reminiscent of high fire pottery; Foundations and Stroke & Coat provide rich colors. Or the student may wish to leave the frame unglazed.
- Distressed Effect Option: brush glaze over textured areas and wipe off glaze with a sponge to leave glaze only in the deepest part of the texture.
- All-over Coverage Option: apply one coat Foundations glaze onto entire tile front (textured and smooth canvas area) and then paint two more coats of the same glaze on the texture part of tile only. Note: Keep glaze off the bottom of tile where it would sit on the kiln shelf – wipe off with a sponge if needed.
- After the textured frame glazing has fully dried use masking tape to create a protective border around the smooth image area (all four sides).
- Paint base coats of glaze onto canvas area (an example: one coat of Foundations that matches color used on texture and then two coats of White to create the base coat). Note: The layered base glaze can add color depth to the white canvas above. Remove masking tape while glaze is still wet to prevent pulling dried glaze from image area.
- Once base coat is dry use a pencil to sketch image on the can- vas area of the tile (pencil will burn off in the glaze firing and will not show on the finished tile).
- Use liner and round brushes to layer Stroke & Coat glazes onto the sketched image.
- Fill glaze applicator bottle with Stroke & Coat Tuxedo Black to outline the finished image. Note: Outlining adds definition to the painted image and can be applied to all or parts of the image.
- Finally, outline the image area to offset from the texture. Glaze fire to Cone 05/06.