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Products Used

Clay

Low-fire clay body (Cone 06/05)

 

Molds & Press Tools

CD-773 Square Slump & Hump, CD-1072 4 Spiral Press Tools, CD-1078 Press Tools 3, 6 Designs

 

Color 

Assorted Stroke & Coat Glazes

Design Tools

MT-003 Brick Mat, ST-338 Deco Diamonds Stamp, ST-353 Jumbo Swirl Blocks Stamp, BT-910 Synthetic Sponge

 

Additional Materials
Rolling Pin, ⅜" Dowels to use as shims, Canvas Fabric, Clay Tools, 2 oz. cups, Brush, Sand Bag

 
retablo

Description

For grade levels 9-12

Retablos are a sophisticated Andean folk art in the form of portable boxes which depict religious, historical or everyday events that are important to the indigenous people of the highlands of Peru and Bolivia.

Objectives

  • Students will learn the steps of creating with clay including construction, bisque firing, glazing, and glaze firing

  • Recognize the character and beauty of  daily scenes in the lives of the Andean people, such as harvests, processions, feasts, and tableaux depicting shops and homes
  • Students will discover technique – Slab Building

National Standards

  • Understanding and Applying Media, Techniques, and Processes
  • Using Knowledge of Structures and Functions
  • Choosing and Evaluating a Range of Subject Matter, Symbols, and Ideas

Instructions

Construction Technique:
  1. For the right depth of clay, lay out canvas fabric on table and place 3/8" dowels on the left and right side of the fabric. Place a piece of moist clay, about 2 lbs. in size, in the middle of the fabric. Using a rolling pin or a 1" dowel, roll out the clay to the size of a legal piece of paper. The dowels are used as a guide to keep your clay level and at the same evenness. Make sure the edges of the rolling pin hit the 3/8" dowels.
  2. Take a small marble size piece of clay and place it in the individual portion cup and add about 3 tablespoons of water. Mix this up with your fingers to make the slurry. This will be your "glue" to attach all the pieces together.
  3. Using a sand bag to press the clay into the slump mold, making sure the clay fits snugly. Trim around edge of mold. Remove from mold when firm enough to hold shape.
  4. Roll out another piece of clay just like in step 1.
  5. Cut out the front facing of the Retablo to mimic the front of a house or building.
  6. Weather using a template or designing freehand, measure your hump mold and cut an opening that will allow the “house shape slab to fit over the hump clay piece to create a room to fill with the memories.
  7. Add texture and sprigs to the front of the House piece decorating the surface.
  8. When both pieces have set up and become leather hard, turn the house piece over and attach the hump piece to form the walls of your Retablo.
  9. Be sure to allow the piece to dry completely before firing. A good way to tell if it is completely dry is to place the clay on your cheek. If the clay feels room temperature then it is completely dry. If the clay feels cool at all then it is still moist and should be left to dry longer. Placing wet clay in the kiln will make the moisture in the clay form steam and shatter your clay piece in the firing. 
Glazing Directions:
  1. Glazing your Retablo can be done when piece is still in clay form  or fired to a shelf cone 04 bisque.
  2. Stroke & Coats are great for decorating your Retablos.
  3. Two heavy coats or three regular coats will assure you have enough on your Retablo to create a nice shiny look. No clear glaze will be necessary.
  4. If glazed on clay, make sure that whatever part of the piece touches the kiln shelf, does not have any glaze or the piece will stick to the shelf.
  5. Fire your clay piece to a shelf cone 04.
  6. If painting on bisque, apply 2 to 3 coats of Stroke & Coats.  
  7. When dry stilt and fire to a shelf cone 06/05.

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