Friday, January 7, 2011

slab pottery

I am not much of a clay artist, but of course that is most students favorite thing to do. At the beginning of the year, I get asked at least 5 xs..."when do we get to do clay?" I usually save it until late in the year, for many reasons. At the intermediate school where I teach, we have TONS of clay stuff, because the previous teacher was a clay queen. So here are the steps to slab pottery:
You will need:
Large pieces of canvas
Two thin strips of wood these same height (1/4 inch)
Rolling pin
2-3 lbs of white clay
Plastic snowflakes, fake leaves, or anything else with a neat texture(lace)
Diff. Sized Bowls, leftover styrofoam from frozen meats- cleaned of course!
Steel wool

Wedge and compress clay on canvas
Roll out clay between sticks on canvas. The sticks are to prevent your clay from being rolled too thin or thick, and help to achieve a more even slab.
Initial bottom of slab
Stamp in snowflakes, leaves, lace, etc until you have desired look.
Place slab in bowl or styrofoam platter to give slab a dip or to mold the slab into bowls/platters.
Let dry in molds until bone dry.
Sand down until smooth with steel wool or synthetic rough kitchen pads.
Fire on bisque setting.
Dab a darker glaze into snowflake grooves- its ok if it gets on the smooth part of your pottery
wipe down with damp sponge
Paint with a lighter glaze the rest of your pottery or dipp it in clear if you want it to be white.
Glaze fire
Wahla! Beautiful pottery awaits you!

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  1. i will use this idea - thanks for sharing!

  2. Where did you get the snowflakes? They are great pressed into the clay! Let me know!

  3. I LOVE the snowflake ones! I wonder whether this project would work with air dry clay; I'd like to give it a try. I also would like to know where you get the snowflakes.

  4. The snowflakes can be found at a dollar store or in wal-mart. I used a combination of plastic ones and foam ones, and are about the size of my palm or smaller. The plastic ones have glitter and sometimes break easier, but have a really beautiful effect

  5. Fabulous results! I'm with Phyl, I'll have to try this with air dry clay bc thats all I can use. I'm not a clay pro, so this may be a stupid question, but what is the canvas for?

  6. it is to keep clay from stick to the table, I meant to explain that, oops!

  7. Lovely results- may I ask what type/brand of glaze you used?