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Products Used

Clay

Low-fire clay body (Cone 06/05)

Color 

SP-245 Speckled My Blue Heaven, SC-89 Cutie Pie Coral, SC-45 My Blue Heaven, SC-37 Ivory Tower, SC-91 Seabreeze, SC-11 Blue Yonder, SC-15 Tuxedo

Design Tools

BT-910 Synthetic Sponge, CB-110 #10 Liner, CB-106 #6 Script Liner, CB-604 #4 Soft Fan

Additional Materials
Pencil
weather vane

Techniques: Slab Building, Attaching, Brushwork
Course Length: 2 weeks
Level: Advanced, grades 7th, 8th, 9-12

Description

This lesson will help students learn about how weather is affecting the animals in their environment; specifically, sea creatures and ocean life.
Students will create a standard weather vane, symbolizing the compass of how weather moves and changes.
Students will be able to connect their weather vane with whatever environment they choose to focus on. Therefore, this project can be translated to any animal kingdom, or a specific species of animals related to a science curriculum. 

Objectives

  • Students will learn the steps of creating with clay including construction, bisque firing, glazing, and glaze firing; as well as develop figurative sculpting techniques.
  • Students will learn how different aspects of weather are constantly changing, or have a gradual change overtime, based on human practices in the environment.
  • Students will be able to use their knowledge about a certain environment, and the animals that live within it, and incorporate it into a design with a weather vane.
  • Students will complete their artwork by developing brushwork skills and color choices that enhance the design of their weather vane/environment piece.

National Standards

  • Demonstrate technical skill and craftsmanship in the use of materials, tools and technology to solve an artistic problem.
  • Identify how an artists' choice of media relates to the ideas and images in the work.
  • Develop awareness and articulate various functions of art.

Instructions

Construction
Part 1. Coral Reef:

  1. Roll three balls of clay. One 1.5 pounds, 1 pound, and .5 pounds.
  2. Make each ball of clay into a simple pinch pot. Flip the pinch pots upside down and connect (using a score and slip method) each pot top to bottom starting with the largest, and ending with the smallest.
  3. Cut a small hole, approximately a half-inch in diameter at the top of the stacked, and connected, pinch pots. 
  4. With additional small balls of clay, roll and pinch to create coral shaped coils. Once satisfied with the shape, attach them around the pinch pot base.
  5. Pinch out a long coil approximately a foot and a half in length and thick enough to fit into the half-inch hole atop the pinch pots. Leave coil to dry straight.
Part 2. Weathervane:
  1. Print out letters "N", "E", "S", and "W" at size 72 font. Then roll out a slab and use the letters as guides to cut "N", "E", "S", and "W" out of the clay.
  2. Cut out 4 directional blades from a rolled out slab.
  3. With a small amount of clay, roll out a coil to create a ring that will fit around the straight coil from Part 1. Be sure the four directional blades are able to attach and fit comfortably around the outside of the ring as well.
  4. Using a score and slip method, attach the four directional blades to the the ring. Also attach the "N", "E", "S", and "W" letters, one to each tab.
Part 3. Whale:
  1. Starting with two .5 pound balls of clay, make two elongated pinch pots that are rounded at their base.
  2. Using a score and slip method, attach the pinch pots at their openings. Be sure to poke a small hole so air is not trapped.
  3. With a small amount of clay, make a pinch pot in the shape of a whale's tail. Attach the tail to body of the whale.
  4. Smooth surface of the whale and press in eyes and a mouth.

Finishing

Begin with properly fired shelf cone 04 bisque. Moisten a clean sponge and wipe bisque to remove any dust.

Part 1. Coral Reef:

  1. Using CB-604 Soft Fan, brush the base of the coral reef with three solid coats of SP-245 Speckles Blue Yonder. Allow the glaze to dry completely between coats. 
  2. After the base is completely dry, use CB-106 Script Liner to brush three solid coats of SC-89 Cutie Pie Coral to the coral and long coil. Allow glaze to dry completely between coats. 
Part 2. Weathervane:
  1. Using CB-106 Script Liner, brush SC-45 My Blue Heaven to the ring in the middle of the propeller and each of the letters, "N", "E", "S", and "W". Apply three soild coats, allowing glaze to dry completely between coats.
  2. After the ring and letters are completely dry, use CB-106 Script Liner to brush SC-37 Ivory Tower to the directional blades. Apply three solid coats, allowing glaze to dry completely between coats.
Part 3. Whale:
  1. Using CB-604 Soft Fan, brush SC-91 Seabreeze on the entire whale, except the splash of water area on its back. Apply three solid coats, allowing glaze to dry completely between coats. 
  2. Using CB-106 Script Liner, brush SC-45 Blue yonder to the splash of water area on the whale's back. Apply three solid coats, allowing glaze to dry completely between coats.
  3. Finish the whale by painting SC-15 Tuxedo with CB-110 Script Liner to draw on the eyes and mouth. Apply two coats, allowing glaze to dry completely between coats.
Part 3. Firing:
  1. With BT-910 Synthetic Sponge, clean any glaze off the bottom of the coral reef and long coil. Place the long coil in the hole in the coral reef for firing. This will fuse the pieces together in the kiln during firing. 
  2. Stilt both the whale and the directional blade structure and place pieces in kiln.
  3. Glaze fire the kiln, on medium speed, to cone 06.

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