Clay proves to be one of the most engaging materials in the studio. My first class of the week was filled with eight 18M-2Y old students. They sat harmoniously together at the table, inspired and focused for nearly 30 minutes before a toddler was ready to get up and paint on the wall. Most of the students decided they need a break to paint on the wall , stretching every limb and enjoying the new activity while standing, and then sure enough they all wondered back to the table for more clay!
This week I encouraged a few minutes of hand modeling and manipulation before I put any tools on the table. I talked about ripping, squeezing, and squishing. Even the littlest hands can work clay.
We used many traditional and non-traditional tools including but not limited to toy pieces for mark making, garlic press, butter slicer, wooden meat tenderizer, and cookie cutters. We also practiced smoothing out the clay with water and sponges.
For decorations we used beads, mardi gras necklaces, and glitter.
And for color we used tempera paint directly on the wet clay. This student was so enthralled with painting that he used the tray as the entire canvas incorporating the clay into fuller piece.
We let the clay air dry for one week and then applied mod podge.
Some students were drawn to the cookie cutters while some where happy to make their own organic shapes.
The mod podge looks great on the clay and beads when dry.