Saturday, April 16, 2011

When Pigs Fly...

I love to show David Wiesner's book Tuesday to my students when we create this project.  His amazing illustrations of flying frogs are a great jumping off point for students to start their own flying pig projects.  We talk about all the ways that a pig could fly...superman capes, jet packs and wings are some of the most popular ideas.  The pigs' bodies are made from simple pinch pots. Start with two equal spheres of clay and make them into pinch pots by pushing your thumb into the center of the sphere and squeezing around the sides until you have a small bowl shape. Do the same to both spheres. Take your scratching tool (wire tool, fork, comb...) and scratch-to-attach the edges of the bowls. Then gently push them together and smooth out the seam with your fingers. This hollow shape creates the body of your pig.

Now using some extra clay, create your snout, legs, tail, eyes and ears, plus of course your mode of flying. If you're making wings like I did, roll out two small coils of clay and gently press them flat, scratch the end of each shape and scratch the back of your pigs' body and attach them on, you can also add feathery texture to them with a tool. You can make legs by rolling out snakes or coils of clay and then scratch-to-attach them onto the body, think about the position you want your pig to be in, mine are attached in "superman" pose.  I also used a knife to cut the toes of my  pig.  To make the snout I make a "mini-marshmellow" shape or a short cylinder and use a poking tool to create the nostrils.  The eyes are small spheres that are flattened and also poked to create pupils.  To make the ears I flatten a small pancake shape of clay and then cut out two equal triangles.  The tail can be tricky to roll out a thin coil of clay and then wrap it up into a spiral, I recommend using extra soft clay to do this.  Remember that all of your pigs' parts need to be scratched-to-attached on!  This is a great project to talk about the difference between realistic art and abstracted art with your students.  I like to show them how to build parts and let their imagination take over....I also allow them to make their pig blue with yellow spots if they want too as another form of abstraction! 
!!!B CR8IV!!!

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