We have been having "Clay Days” over the last semester, where one day a week would be set up for clay all day. Then once that day's projects have been fired, glazed, refined, and packed - we start again with another weekday. This is a management system that makes it easier and more efficient to do clay projects with the whole school, because I can only store about 6 classes worth of projects at a time. Here are a few of the projects to we have created this year:
First grade pet portraits
Second grade thumb owls and bowls with spoons
3rd grade Mexican sun/moon tiles
Fourth grade coral reefs and cactus bowls
Fifth grade bowls, planters, and roses by assorted grades
We tried a new media with our #petpARTners project, which raises awareness of the homeless pet population in our community - embroidery! Fourth grade learned to load an embroidery hoop with fabric, thread a needle, tie a knot, and sew a few stitches like the running stitch, back stitch and satin stitch. Managing needles can be tricky, but this tip from Art with Mrs. E on Instagram was a good idea - I ended up making six smaller boxes with five needles each, one box per table. It made for quicker collection and distribution.
We started by tracing our empty hoop on paper and drawing a "head and shoulders" portrait of a dog or cat from FurKids animal shelter - a few students wanted to make their family pet. I shared these examples from this Pinterest pin to get an idea of how the embroidered stitches might look.
Then, we placed our muslin over the pencil drawing and very lightly traced it onto the fabric. Finally, we loaded the fabric and started stitching - the first day of threading needles and making stitches is very hands on for me, because it can be a little confusing right at first. By the next lesson, however, most kids are rolling along and solving their own stitching issues. This is a great lesson to demonstrate problem solving!I have Open Studio mornings a few times a week, and I get the biggest turnout from kids wanting to work on their embroidery - they really get hooked. It is a bit time consuming and I have interrupted the lesson a couple of times for things like getting ready for our upcoming art show. But the results are great and they love learning a new skill. For the paper frame, we trace the interior of the empty hoop on to a piece of construction paper, cut it out from the inside, and tape the fabric behind.
I share these on social media to encourage people to “adopt, don’t shop” or to donate to their local shelter. #petpARTners ties in wonderfully with our character ed program, 7 Mindsets. These are some from our first finished batch - will post more soon!