Friday, May 25, 2012

Backgammon Game Board

Making your own game board and pieces in clay can be really fun.  This student chose to make a backgammon board but you could make checkers, chess, monopoly etc.

To make these game boards, start by rolling out a flat slab of clay that is about 3/8ths of an inch thick and the size that you would like your game board to be.  Next scratch up the entire surface of the clay with a fork or scoring tool.  Now start cutting out the shapes for your board pieces from the extra scraps of clay.  Scratch the backs of your shapes with a tool and begin attaching them onto the surface.  If you have large empty area, you can cut small shapes and attach them to fill those areas as a design rather than a playing area of the board.  Be sure to keep the thickness of your clay even as you attach them onto the base piece. Once all the spaces have been filled with shapes, let the game dry on a flat surface.  Now you have to build the pieces for your game, depending on what game you've chosen, they may need to be unique for each player or all similar as in checkers and backgammon.  Next, bisque fire all the pieces and board, then have students glaze only the surface of each of the shapes and the outside edge of the board NOT the spaces in-between, the grout will not stick to a glazed surface.  They should also glaze the pieces keeping color in mind if they need two teams of color or all the same.  Once the glaze firing is finished, mix up some grout in any color you'd like according to the package's instructions.  Be careful about not adding too much water to your grout, a little goes a long way!  Spread out some newspaper and give out plastic gloves to students--this will be messy!  I give students a handful of the grout and let them start pushing it into all of the spaces, I usually have to help everyone out a little bit to make sure they've packed it in tight and filled all the spaces.  Then have them rub the grout off of the tops of all of their shapes using just their hands to start with or a wooden clay tool can be helpful, then use a dry paper towel to start to wipe the surfaces clean.  Once the grout has dried a bit, you can go over the surface with a damp sponge to get any residual grout off. Let the grout dry for 24 hours before using your game.

!!!B CR8IV!!!

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