Clay Escape: Kids Edition

Week 1: Come as you are. Wind down from a day at school. All vibes welcome here. We take some deep breaths with our eyes closed. We will begin with making a pinch pot to get familiar with controlled finger pressure to create the right thickness. I will be explaining the different stages of clay and its limitations. Slip, wet-clay, leather hard clay, dry clay, bisque clay, and glazed ware. Afterwards, we will make stamps using various techniques such as coiling, carving, and texturing to decorate pieces they make later. One of which, will their unique mark that end up being used to identify their work.

Week 2: We will be making a cup to drink out of using the same pinch pot technique as the previous week, focusing on the usability. How much water will it hold? If the rim of the cup is smooth to put our lips on? If the shape feels good in our hand so we would use it often? We will be making two very different handles for the cup. One pulled, using water and pressure and the other a slab handle, which is cut out of a piece of flattened clay. We will learn how to connect two pieces of clay by skoring the clay body and apply slip and pressure. We can then decide which handle we prefer before connecting it onto the cup. To decorate the surface, we have the option to use our stamps from last week. Carving/texturing will also be introduced. The surface can also be left smooth if desired.

Week 3: We will be making a cylinder using the slab and coiling technique. We get a slab by rolling out clay using wood rails, the flat piece of clay will have even thickness. First we'll cut out a shape for the base as well as a strip for the bottom walls. We will use the same attaching technique we learned last week skoring/applying slip. Then we'll make various coils by rolling clay into a long snake shape. Then the coil can be made into interesting patterns and shapes, such as spirals, braids, or hollow shapes, then attached to the cylinder to build height. Coiled cylinders are beautiful as a stand alone piece or it can hold fresh picked flowers from the market!

Week 4: In this class, we will be combining different natural color clays to sculpt little figurines and creating a scene by attaching them to a small plate. It can be a scene of small animals stacked on top of each other, a spacescape with rockets and never before seen planets, or wherever our imagination takes us! This plate can be used to store soap or for holding trinkets and treasures.

Week 5: In this class, we will be focusing on making a plate or a bowl that holds our favorite meal. It can be a plate with a slight edge so pasta or rice doesn't escape. It can be a bowl with scalloped edges for windows. It can also be non-traditional, such as a dish in the shape of a triangle to hold one slice of pizza! We will learn a slab draping technique, where we build a shape with newspaper and lay clay on top to create the inside space. While that's drying to a leather hard stage, we will make a rimmed foot and then attach it. We will draw our ideas on paper how this piece will be decorated to emphasis our favorite meal. For example, we can use a stay-put glaze and draw squiggly lines for the interior of the bowl if the favorite food is spaghetti. Or use a bright blue glaze to make the cheese on their toasties pop!

Week 6: In this class, we will be introduced to glazing. We will already have some our pieces bisque fired. Our first pinch pot, the cylinder, and the figurine dish. We have to first wipe off the dust with a wet sponge so glaze can adhere to the clean surface. We will get familiar with the glaze choices and glaze each piece, sometimes 2-3 layers. When we are done, we also have to wipe off any glaze on the bottom, where the piece sits on the kiln, because glaze sticks and there are no graceful ways to detach them once they are stuck.

Week 7: We will be glazing the cup we made and the favorite dish as a two-piece-set during this class. These two pieces have already been bisqued and ready to be dusted off to glaze. We will pull out the sketches from week 5 and select glazes based on how to showcase our favorite dish. We will try to glaze the cup to match. We will also carefully make sure there are no glazes underneath the pieces.    

Week 8: During our final class, we will have a party seeing and using our own finished ceramic pieces for the first time! We'll walk around and see everyone's finished product. We'll chat about what we enjoyed making the most and what we would like to do differently on other pieces.

**Parents: Please let us know in advance of food allergies and drink preference!