Saturday, April 13, 2013

Coil Pots...2nd Grade

This is the big clay project for 2nd grade this stated in the MNPS Visual Arts Curriculum...ooh la la.

Anyway, I tried teaching this with two different approaches. With my pilot class, I tried getting them to make the whole thing in one class period...after set-up, demos, problem-solving...demos again...we really ran out of time. Some kids got it and theirs look great...but I wanted more success as a whole. So, I tried teaching them this in chunks. Day One we made coils, created the spiral base and that's it...and it took an hour!

So, I put their 'bases' in a ziploc bag and we'll build the coil walls next class.

Below is the pilot classes coil pots from one class period. We have a good variety of sizes...and we went ahead and glazed them while they were greenware.

I did find that rolling the clay into a "carrot" shape between your hands first starts a great coil. Before, I had them roll the clay into a ball, then roll into a coil and that just didn't make sense after a few tries. 

Dipping in Crystal Clear Glaze: 

So, I pulled this huge bucket out today of crystal clear glaze....I usually dip the clay for the kids, but they were curious about it so I just let them get in there and dip their own! Great idea for me, cause it saves me a lot of time...and it's fun for them. Win-win. 

Here's some coil pots from the last class I taught this project to. Of course, they got the best lesson since I had 'mastered' it by then. 

Glazed Pots!


  1. it can be pretty stressful trying to teach clay projects. can you share any tips about glazing in general, and also glazing right on the greenware? i notice you have some small paint palettes in the picture. are you watering down the glazes and pouring them into the palettes before class?

  2. I haven't watered down the glazes..but that's an interesting idea. I just squeezed the glaze directly into those palettes and let the kids brush them on their greenware pots. I have tried it in the past on bisque fired pots and it seems to work the same, so I save the time and energy by glazing right on greenware. We write about glaze in our "Idea Books" before starting the process and I do a demo to show them how to glaze...I also get them to add two or three coats of glaze. I also tell them not to glaze the bottom, but I usually dip them in a crystal clear glaze anyways and fire them on little stilts so there isn't any fusing to the kiln shelves. I typically wipe the bottom with a damp sponge just in case before I fire them.