Monday, February 20, 2012

Fifth Grade Ming Dynasty Vases

 Fifth grades study of Asia moved on to the Ming Dynasty. The students looked at different examples of Ming pottery. I showed them pieces of varying sizes and shapes and then we looked at how they were painted.

The students designed their own version of a Ming vase in their sketchbooks. I told them that we would be glazing the entire piece solid white and then they would be able to choose their own color scheme to add their design, instead of using only blue, as in the Ming vases.
On the day that we were ready to start the clay, I used my extruder (for the first time!) to make coils for the students. Ideally, I would have loved for them to use the extruder to make the coils themselves. However, since I only have 45 minutes and there are almost 30 students, I expedited the process by having them pre-made.

I gave each student a piece of clay to make a basic pinch pot. Some of them made bowls and others worked really hard to make the forms that they had seen the previous week.

I told the students that they had to use at least 1 coil in their project, but it was up to them how it was used. Some of them stuck with only 1 coil. However, many of them went wild with the coils! They loved it!

I absolutely love how different each vase/pot looks.

I fired them and the next week, I had them use opaque white glaze to cover the entire project. I pre-poured glaze into cups and my rule was that they had to use every drop in the cup. That was my
way of knowing that they were using enough glaze
to coat the entire piece.

Then I had plates with different color schemes set up. My students are fascinated with cool colors, so many of them used that color scheme. However, I did get a few monochromatic pieces and a few  complementary colors.

I currently have all of their pieces on display in our glass case in the entryway of our school. They look so nice!

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