Here is the "before" picture:
|Rough, raw, and not so special looking, |
but just wait until you see what I take out of the kiln in the morning!
10 Steps For Making A Ceramic Autumn Leaf Spoon Rest:
This makes an awesome family gift for Thansgiving!
If you aren't lucky enough to have a kiln at your school, you can visit your local "Color Me Mine" type shop and they will help you out, for a fee. Then, you can do this amazing project. :)
Do this first:
Order clay and lead-free glaze from a ceramic store. I ordered 25 lbs of white clay and a small jar of yellow, orange, and maroon lead-free glaze.
Do this second:
I use fishing line to cut the clay into 1 inch slabs. I slap each slab down onto a piece of white construction paper at least ten times to condition the clay and work out any air bubbles.
Then I roll it out to about 1/4" thick making sure the slab is an even thickness from end to end.
I let the kids help with this part.
Do this third:
I drew a maple leaf that measures about 6 inches in diameter on a piece of tag board. I cut it out and used it as a template.
Do this fourth:
Place the leaf template on the slab of clay. I stretched out a large paper clip and used one end to cut around my leaf template. Keep a bowl of water close by to use to smooth out the edges of the leaf.
Use the paper clip to write the child's name on the back of the leaf making sure to go less than halfway deep into the clay.
Do this fifth:
Have the child use a pencil to dray vein lines on the leaf. Pick off any excess clay that builds up when the children draw their vein lines. Then help the child to turn the ends of the leaf up, sideways, or up and then down to create a rim. Make sure the center of the leaf remains flat.
Do this sixth:
Cover a flat surface with white construction paper and place each completed leaf on the construction paper. Then, wrap the top of each leaf with a paper towel that has been soaked in water. This will help your leaves to dry out slowly and will prevent cracking. Allow the leaves to dry for 3-7 days. Check for cracks, and add water and smooth the cracks out.
Do this seventh:
After 3-5 days, fire the clay in a kiln. Leave the kiln closed for an additional day to allow the pieces to cool completely.
Do this eighth:
Remove the cooled pieces from the kiln and rinse them in cold water. They will dry immediately.
Have each child glaze their leaf with autumn colored glazes. See directions on glaze jars.
Do this ninth:
Fire the leaves. Make sure each leaf is propped up on a kiln stilt and that you are using the correct kiln cone. Allow the leaves to cool a day before removing them.
Do this tenth:
Wrap your leaves well and send them home as a Thanksgiving gift from your students to their families.
Enjoy! And don't forget to come back tomorrow to see the finished products! You will be amazed!