Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Ice Cream Bowls

This is a great basic clay project that anyone can enjoy!

Create your very own ice cream bowl using the pinch pot method of building, design patterns & textures and think about the functionality of your bowl; size, shape & texture. 

Sessions:  One 30 min - 1 hour session
Age: Kinder and up
Low Fire Clay
A Variety of Clay Tools
Low Fire Glazes & Brushes


1.  Cut off a piece of clay that is about as big as a baseball. 

2.  Shape it into a sphere by hitting it with curved hands until all flat sides and points are rounded.

3.  Push your thumb into the sphere (be careful not to go all the way through).

4.  Start to squeeze the clay with your thumb on the inside and your fingers on the outside.  Squeeze and turn the clay so the hole that you made with your thumb is stretched out and starts to form a bowl.  This is called making a pinch pot because you are pinching your clay into the shape of a pot/bowl.  Keep squeezing and stretching the clay until it is stretched out to the size that you want your bowl to be.  Hint: If you stretch and squeeze it to much, you clay will become thin and fragile, try to keep it about as thick as a pancake.    

5.  Now you can change the shape of your bowl if you'd like.  It can be anything; oval, heart, triangle.... I'm going with a square shape for this bowl.  You can also use this time to smooth out any cracks or rough areas of clay--your fingers are a great tool for this!  Hint:   You can also use a spray bottle to keep your clay damp--don't overdo it though, your clay will become mush!
6. Now it's time to decorate your bowl, use your clay tools to add design, pattern and texture to your pieces. Experiment with different ideas, if you don't like them, you can always smooth them out and try something different.

7.  Sometimes finding tools that are not really for clay; such as this ballpoint pen, can create a really effective design. 

8.  I like to create the majority of my design and texture on the outside of the piece, this helps keep the bowl easy to clean, especially if its going to be used for food.  

9.  The finished design!

10.  This bowl will now need to dry completely, be fired in a kiln to cone 04 so that it is bisqued, then it will be glazed with a variety of colors and fired again.  Then all that you'll need is ice cream! 


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