First, we rolled a ball and rolled it back and forth on the table into a long snake. Then, I showed them how to make a spiral for the bottom of the pot. The common mistake was that most of them didn't wrap the spiral tight. I showed them how to fold the end close to itself to start. After they had the bottom, I asked them to make another snake. If I didn't get back to them fast enough, they would roll that snake into another spiral. I had them unroll it and explained that the next step was different and that we were going to build the walls. They painted slip onto the spiral, then started with one end around the outside edge. When most of them got all the way around the circle, there would be extra clay and they would try and match up the ends, making it not fit on the top. I showed them that once you get one time around, you feed it so it goes on top to the next level. Then when you run out, you make another snake. I also showed them how to use their thumb and pointer fingers of both hands to pinch around the pot to stick the layers together without pushing the walls in.
The children who made the pots had to do at least 4 or 5 snakes to make all the layers. The clay is very hard to work with because it is so stiff and some of it was dry and would break when they tried to roll the snake, but they persisted. Only when they got their pot to the size they were happy with did they stop to add the beads. I teach the 3 year old class and it is so interesting to how much more persistence and patience the 4 and 5 year olds have with making art.
I was really proud to see them working so hard and that they were able to follow the steps accurately.
Good news is we found someone to fire our clay faces, so we will be able to have them for the art show! A few of them broke in two because they were too thin in places, so I hope we can glue them after they are fired. We won't fire these because they have beads in them, but the guy at the pottery place says he has some tips on how to preserve them. We have a few weeks until the art show and I will be working this Friday on the group paintings on large canvases. We did the base coats last week. I had to come up with the concepts/technique and color schemes. I'm crossing my fingers they turn out well! The parents will be bidding on them...no pressure!