Clay Flower Bowls (June 2014)

This simple project uses air-dry clay and requires no glazes or firing. It was devised for my group of three and four year olds, but I’m sure older children would enjoy it too.

The bowl is made from eight heart shapes and two discs cut from rolled out clay (we used a cookie cutter and a playdough cutter). The first disc was placed in the centre of a small, cling film-lined, soup bowl.

blog 2014-06-17 15.01.22I showed the children how to score the surface of the disc to create a rough texture that helps the clay stick together.

blog 2014-06-17 15.01.37The disc was then brushed with slip – a thin solution of watered down clay with a little vinegar, which acts like glue.

blog 2014-06-17 13.57.01The eight hearts were then placed around the central disc to form petals. I demonstrated how to use a finger to press and smooth the joins between each piece of clay. After scoring again and brushing on more slip, the remaining disc of clay was placed in the middle and pressed down, to seal in all the petals.

blog 2014-06-17 15.14.07Then I gave the children  a variety of plastic tools, such as pencils (both ends), chopsticks and straws, to decorate their flowers.

blog 2014-06-17 15.44.26The clay flowers were left to dry for a day and then taken out of the soup bowls and put on a rack to air-dry until the following week.

blog DSCF1075The next step for the children was to decorate the clay flowers using normal gouache colours.

The bowls had dried and hardened over the past week, and it was important not to wet the clay too much while painting it (we didn’t want to end up with squidgy clay again!).

So, before they picked up their paintbrushes, I showed the children how to brush the colour on gently, without scrubbing at the clay surface, and how to be sparing when adding water to the paint pans.

The children really enjoyed choosing their colours and deciding where to put them, and they all worked very carefully, taking their time over their work.

I think the project was a great success! And none of the bowls collapsed or got dropped in the process… yet!

Click on an image below to scroll through the gallery…

One comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s