Saturday, December 20, 2008

Empty Bowls part 3

The kids in a circle bowls are very easy to make.
Each year for the Empty Bowls food bank fund raiser have my students make bowls that while retaining their childhood exuberance for art also contain a certain elegance and sophistication.
The past few years I have used a slump mold with my students. I made this slump mold using a large salad bowl that I filled with plaster. With this bowl shaped lump of plaster my students can form their bowls.
For the kids in a circle bowl the students used gingerbread cookie cutters to form the little people from slabs of clay rolled about ¾ of an inch thick. Then we placed the cutouts on the mold slightly overlapping with a little slip to help them stick together. I removed the clay from the mold when it was leather hard. After bisque firing I had the students paint the figures but each student could only glaze one figure on a bowl. That way each figure was very different, just like the kids.
Another bowl that the kids and I have done using the plaster slump mold is a hand bowl. After rolling out a slab I had the students trace their hand on the clay and then cut it out. This hand print was then placed on the slump mold along with about 5 other hands. Depending on how you place the hand prints on the mold the bowls look either woven or like a flower.
I’m sorry I don’t have any pictures but my art classes are only 45 minutes long and we have to start and finish clay projects in that time and it is hard to find time to take pictures during the process.


Snippety Gibbet said...

I really love working with clay but I really don't have a lot of knowledge about working with it. Did you have one slump mold or did you make a bunch? To make the slump mold did you vaseline up the bowl first or did you line it with something? Thanks for the tips. I love the idea.

Chan Bliss said...

I made 9 slump molds, one for each group/table and one extra for me. I used a glass bowl for the form and sprayed the inside with Pam, a concession to my wife because we eat out of the bowl. Once the plaster hardened a slight tap and the plaster fell out. I also tried lining the bowl with plastic wrap but that left a wrinkled texture in the plaster. I'll work up a more detailed lesson plan and post it on my lesson plan wiki. But not before January. Our house is in the middle of a Christmas meltdown, I'm hiding:)


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