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Re: sgraffito tiles--help!


Date: Thu Mar 31 2005 - 12:50:54 PST

I've done the reverse process -- red slip over a white clay body. (I love red
clay, but it is stainy, thus too much effort for me with kids. We mostly use
white clay.) I do it with fifth grade pinch pots. They make the pots one week.
I put on the slip by dipping and brushing. The pots should be leather hard,
but ofcourse some are always too hard or too soft -- that is the nature of life,

We scratch the designs with PENCILS! I do have sharpened sticks, but found
pencils superior to the sticks as pencils are firmer and smoother and thus
make a cleaner line. Any pencil that does manage to "write" itself on a firm
pot will burn away in the kiln. We brush away the clay crumbs from the
surface design with large camelhair brushes.

The kids do a nice job with making lines and repeat designs. I encourage
them to scratch out some of the shapes to make the piece more interesting.

Clean up is important. During the lesson I have them "snowplow" their
crumbs into piles away from the edge of the table. I go around a few times
sweeping the piles into a trash can with a wet rag. toward the end of the
class I show them how to wipe up the table so that all clay stays in the
sponge or is wiped into a hand and then into the trash can. I give the ole
lecture on clay safety. Since I've been telling them this, they are really good
about not allowing clay to get on the floor. No more white footprints in the
hallway from the artroom!

:) Jeannie in PA
> From: Holly Kingman <>
> Date: 2005/03/31 Thu PM 03:23:27 EST
> To: "ArtsEdNet Talk" <>
> Subject: sgraffito tiles--help!
> Hi,
> I am trying to put together a lesson doing tiles in red clay, with sgraffito
decoration using white clay slip. (This is for elementary) I did this years ago
(when I was a student actually), and am not sure exactly how to do it. Does
anybody have any helpful hints? Does the clay need to be leather hard? What
tools are used for filling in with the slip? And is there an easy way to clean up
the excess slip? Has anyone done this with a class as young as fourth grade? I
started a sample, and mine isn't that great, so I am getting a little worried!
Thanks for any advice.
> Holly
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