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Lesson Plans

Re: Clay for clay projects

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Sheryl Ann McCoy (smccoy)
Mon, 26 Oct 1998 11:51:44 -0700

Greetings to Pat, Sandra and all:

Thanks for opening this strand. I have never been very creative with the clay projects. I have always purchased ready to use or easy to use raw materials with specific directions, BUT my interest in jewelry, gemstones, and fossils lead me to a unique (for me) discovery. I am always curious.

I found chunks of damp clay in a freshly completed highway road cut (where the highway builders dynamite a part of a hill or mountain to make the road level). These damp, soft chunks seem about the right consistency for students' clay projects. I wondered, could I use these clays as is and fire them?

The intriguing part, to me, was their wide range of beautiful colors. It depends on the area of KS I am in, but I have found some white clay that looks like English pipe clay. I have found a complete spectrum of colors: deep burgundy, yellow, red, and light lavenders.

These clays often have different textures, from very fine(smooth) to slightly coarse. When I found them, I was curious, but afraid I would be wasting my time, so I didn't experiment.

Since I first found these clays, I have had another serendipitous connection.

Over the last few months, our public television station, in Topeka, has shown some great videos about artists. The show is called COLORES. Most of the artists are from the southwest(especially New Mexico).
One artist was a Native American woman, sorry I can't remember what tribe. She makes the traditional coiled pottery of the southwest tribes.

She demonstrated her technique of crushing the clay and adding water, mixing with her feet until she had the desired consistency. It seemed like a process that I could learn to do(the crushing and blending HAHAHA). Her pottery making skills were tremendous.

I think we talked about a similar strand before, but I need some guide words to use to access the archives.

Plus, I would appreciate any emails on your experience with this topic that you would send.

Thanks in advance,


"Heat not a furnace for your foe so hot That it do singe yourself. -Shakespeare

On Mon, 26 Oct 1998 08:11:27 pat_bainbridge wrote: >My K-2 nd do really cool clay beads. Wwindchimes are another easy shape project as are pedant necklaces Just make sure you get the holes in! Good luck >

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