Thursday, March 7, 2013

Clay Picture Frames with 5th Grade

My 5th grade students have been working in clay, making picture frames from slabs. The students began by making a paper template (tracing the edge of their photo on a paper, and measuring straight, even edges all the way around). Then, the students places their template on a slab of clay that they had rolled, and traced the shape of the frame with a needle tool. Next, they used carving tools to carve designs, or they added designs, taking care to score and slip between pieces. Finally, after they had been bisque fired, the students glazed them however they wanted! These have been a long time coming; one class finished before Christmas, two classes finished in January, and the last class just finished a few weeks ago! Thus, there are frames that say "2012" on them, and there's a Christmas-themed one.

To finish the frames, the students taped their school photo into it, and we glued a cardboard back over that. Then, a folded triangle was hot-glued on to make a stand. The photo in the frame is not interchangeable this way (it would have taken a lot more time to make a back that opens!), but I told the students that it was good to always have their 5th grade school picture in the frame that they made in 5th grade. A few students' families did not order school photos, so for them, I printed their photos from their file on Harmony, and had it laminated. Not as nice as a real photo, but close enough!