One of my favorite slab pieces is the "apartment". Everyone is given the same slab measurements, so that they make a open box (no lid, and no one long side...think shoe box size with no top, and the "front" side missing...again think dollhouse.) These become "apartments". I tell the kids these are studio apartments in New York City, and each kid must make their apartment their own. (The outside walls are done in the exact same brick pattern...because these apartments when finished are stacked one atop the other...one man's floor, becomes another man's ceiling type deal). In each apartment each student makes everything out of clay. I tell them to spare no pretend "expense" or whimsy). They are always fabulous when finished. It gets displayed as a complex of apartments (I "caulk" with clear "caulk" them all together so they don't fall down, but they can easily be seperated by an exacto knive to take each unit home). So one year I had an apartment that had loads of paintings hung on the way, with an easel, a fu
ton, tv, refrig, that sort of thing. I also got a surfer's apartment with a stuffed shark on the wall, a surfboard hanging, etc. I get apartments with messy clothes on the floor, etc. These can be underglazed, or regular glazed. Trust me on this one. One year our "apartment" of 10 was picked to show at a local museum.
Another slab piece that worked was for them to make an article of clothing that was hanging from a nail. (without the nail...it becomes a wall piece and if done correctly LOOKS like an article hanging from a nail). I got everything from baseball hats, to leather jackets.
Another slab piece that worked is that they brought a picture of their home, and did it in clay. A house portrait if you will.
Over the years we have done clay cars in slab, clay mobiles and wind chimes, clay birdhouses, clay shoes, clay food, clay baskets.
I no longer teach ceramics, but "back in the day" when I was the only art teacher, I taught it all. We now have a ceramics teacher.