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[teacherartexchange] Crayola Air dry clay and model magic trick

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From: Cathy Gaul (allgaul_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sat Apr 19 2008 - 07:02:24 PDT


I just made small owl figures (@3-4" tall and wide) with Crayola air dry
clay with 4th graders-60 students-and I liked how it worked very much. We
didn't attach any pieces, so I am not able to say how that went. We wedged
it like real clay to get the air bubbles out of it. It had sat unopened for
over a year and was very dried out, so I put water in the plastic bags the
clay was packaged in, let it sit overnight and it was much better after a
few days, in fact, the bottom where it sat in water was too wet. Wedging on
some cardboard took the excess moisture away nicely if messily, but the kids
loved that part anyway. The owls were just rectangular blocks of clay after
wedging-some made taller, some made more triangular shaped solid forms. Then
they used their thumbs to hollow out the middle somewhat to allow it to dry
easier, formed the eye sockets with the back of a plastic knife from
IKEA-perfect for making concave depressions, pinched out the ears and used
the knife to depress the area around the beak and where wings would be. They
air dried for a few days on the window sill, and after the first day I laid
them on their sides so the air could get to the hollowed out center-They
used watercolor to paint them-not too wet, because the clay gets a little
slimy again if you use too much water-and when they were dry we used tempera
varnish to finish. I swear they look just like real clay and glaze. I was
very happy. Haven't tried other air dry clays since way back when-70's and
80's. Amaco wasn't so great then. Glad to hear someone likes it now. I might
order some for next year and do clay with more classes since these owls were
successful-but I will try the Crayola again making some coil pots or
something with pieces attached with slip.

For the model magic, I have found that using Elmers as slip really works.
When it dries the stuff stays put. I made coil pots with 5th graders with
and without it. Without it every pot had coils separate and needed glue
surgery to get them back together-what a mess!

Cathy

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