I want to share a very successful lesson that I taught my high school Crafts I students. Many of these student were taking Crafts as an Art class, rather than taking Art I. However, I still wanted students to gain a strong understanding of basic art concepts and vocabulary.
A great clay project that they worked on was to create an original triptych. Before doing so, I taught them about triptychs and showed them various art history examples of where triptychs could be found in real life situations. We discussed where they originated from, where they could be found, etc. If you are interested in the PowerPoint presentation that goes along with this, please let me know!
Another important concept that students had to learn before starting are the basic clay techniques. Many of these students had never worked with clay before so it was important to go over the most basic stuff. For example, clay dries out! We talked about how to properly store clay so that it would be workable for multiple days. We went over basic vocabulary such as slipping and scoring, clay tools and when to use them, etc.
I focused a lot of their attention of the difference between additive and subtractive techniques. That is, if they are adding clay onto their tile or if they are taking away clay and carving out their tile. Students had to pass a quiz on clay tools and techniques before I let them begin. I also had students sketch out their ideas before we moved on to clay.
Overall, I was very pleased with the results from this lesson. I realized that many of the students had no practice with clay up until this project, so it was really great to see the results. I opted to have this class paint with acrylic paint rather than glaze, and I really enjoyed the way they turned out. I had them seal it with an acrylic gloss to make it shiny and really seal the colors in.
Here are some pictures of the finished work!