Clay Robots!

Once we had covered all of the different joining techniques we then went on to create Iron Men (although mine looks more like a robot...) This was putting the skills which we had learnt into practice and personally I used all three of the techniques as I wanted to test them out to see how they ended up looking in practice.

We also discussed the use of tools such as knives in schools as our technician Tony asked us if we were to teach a clay lesson in a primary school would we allow our class to use knives, instinctively I answered no due to the health and safety of having a set of knives in the classroom but Tony made a really good point that if you do not allow the children to work with proper tools then you are limiting their experience with Art as the plastic tools that had sharp pointy ends were just as dangerous if used to poke or stab someone else.

This really made me think about allowing the children to work with knives as before I would have said automatically no but after discussing that you could set up a station where you had two children working with the knives at one time or that it showed the children that you trusted them and that it gave them the chance to act responsibly then this made me reconsider and depending on how much you trusted your class I would say yes to the use of tools like this.

Here is a photo of the knives which we used to score and cut the clay

Here is a photo of all the equipment which we used when making our Iron Men...

We also discussed about how clay does dry out your hands and that for children who have eczema or are allergic to clay this may present them with big problems as it may cause the conditions to get worse, so what were the alternatives to using clay for that particular child? Plasticine or Play dough may work as substitutes for these children but it also does mean that they will not end up with a permanent object which they can keep and utilise which is the disadvantage to this. 

We then went on to talk about how people didn't like the feeling of the clay and what would you do if you had a child who reacted like this, would you offer them an alternative such as the Plasticine or Play dough? Or would you tell them to man up (but put an awful lot nicer and more teachery than this)? Have a think about this?

Here are some photos of the development of my Iron Man/Robot...

It started out as a block of clay and then I created pinch pots for the feet and coiled the legs.

Then I created a slabbed pot for the body and another pinch pot for the head ensuring i had air holes so that it did not blow up in the kiln! Attached arms and added a face and it was done :)

Meet my robot :) I think he looks quite cute!

Here are pictures of other peoples Iron Men/Robots.

As you can see we all had the same design brief but came out with completely different final products showing that a design brief is as wide as the children's imaginations :)


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