Saturday, November 3, 2007
Check out the beginnings of the 6th Grade Class Tile Mural Project at Mountain View School. The kids use terra cotta clay for this project. The girls below are in the process of "building" their clay tiles.
The students first study Ancient Greece in their homeroom classes, brainstorming and eventually deciding on a single item to design into clay. I helped the kids isolate the image in order to draw it on a square piece of paper. Then, Ms. Vallance, the ceramics teacher, prepared the clay 5 x 5 tiles and gave each student a ball of clay in which to "build" up their tiles. Some kids worked on individual tiles, while others teamed up to make a larger collection of tiles.
A Helmet and a Cyclops are featured below. Notice how well the students worked their clay pieces to resemble their original drawings. I especially like the Cyclops teeth--each tooth is
a small piece of clay. The clay will lighten somewhat after the first firing.
Catherine Vallance and Xeni's mom add the "purple" glaze which will be fired to create a shiny, glass finish on the mural tiles. This step can be done by the kids but it helps to have some parents around to ensure that the bottoms of the tiles are free of glaze (so it doesn't stick to the kiln shelf).