Fran, I am afraid that I do not have any tried-and-tue advice for you, but
your message has inspired me, and I think this is what I am looking for in
order to do a simple yet striking clay project with my 3rd graders.
I will probably use airdry clay.
I will teach the kids how to make pinch pots (I do not know if they have had
that before, as I am new to my school), and I think we will probably insert
eye screws into the bottom for attaching the ringer.
I will have them create a custom handle separate, and then score and slip to
attach, reinforced by coils that they will turn into a decorative element on
the outer surface of the pinch pot.
We will paint them, I'm guessing we'll use acrylics.
We can maybe tie it in with the science of sound, and have the students
explore what makes the tone of the bell different and how (i.e. thickness of
the pinch pot, size of the ringer ball, etc.).
Ooh--this sounds fun! I think the kids will love it!
I am eager to hear any advice from you, since you have at least made a
sample, and from others, too.