I decided to try a new concept for my clay project this year. When it was time to teach the element of Form, I started the class off with a PowerPoint of a wide variety of figurines. I showed them examples of animal and human figurines from ancient cultures. Then I showed them a wide variety of figurines that were created by current artists. (Downloadable PowerPoint: Clay Figurines)
I opened up the definition of “figurine” to be any small object that was around 4-6 inches tall. I told students that their project didn’t have to be realistic. Many students came up with some very interesting abstract forms.
We started the process by talking about basic hand-building techniques, like scoring, sliping, and hollowing out clay. I was so excited to open up the kiln to see that every single student’s artwork was intact! (Another big advantage to clay figurines is that I was able to fit them all into one load.)
It was interesting to see what students came up with as their subject. I was impressed with the wide variety of ideas they had.
This was their first experience using clay in my class. I wanted them to get excited about the medium without being overwhelmed. The size limitation meant that they could really take their time and put a lot of detail in their work.
Some students were able to finish early enough that they had time to create another clay project. I let them choose if they wanted to work on another figurine or move on to making a functional clay project.
Supplies: Clay, glaze, slip, clay tools
Downloadable PowerPoint: Clay Figurines