I think I like doing sculpture better than painting. First off I think making something 3 dimensional captures the children’s enthusiasm and energy; they are able to both learn the process of mixing the clay as well as how to form the clay after it is mixed; I am able to connect the projects with more meaningful applications; the result of each project is a handmade object, which the children can keep; the possibilities with sculpture is expansive because of the variety of materials that are at our disposal; creativity takes a front seat and it is easy to find inexpensive projects that are very impressive.
Last Saturday was our last salt dough class. My intention with using salt dough clay so much was to introduce the kids to using clay with something simple, yet building their familiarity and skills before going on to other types of clay. We talked about the importance of what is inside of ourselves, as I walked them step-by-step, how to make a coil pot. In reiteration of the previous weeks, I connected ourselves with the clay- unga (flour- the good stuff) and chumvi (salt- the bad stuff)- all mixed up together in one form… ourselves. We start small when we are born and do not hold much knowledge, but as we grow we can hold more and store things inside ourselves. Similarly, you can build up a coil pot and as the pot grows in size it can also hold more inside of it. We brainstormed about what we would want to be inside of each one of us and wrote it on the big piece of brown paper I tape to the wall each week. Here are the words the kids want inside of themselves: faith, joy, peace, laughter, happiness, faith, humility, hope, love. As they patted out a piece of clay for the base of their pot, each chose one word and wrote this on the base with a sharp stick to represent that one thing that they want to be inside of them. After that I gave them a plastic cup, providing a form to wind the coil around; explaining the importance of scorning each surface before connecting the coils and then blending the coils together so that the pieces of clay do not separate. My kids are so good! They got so into this- and are becoming increasingly creative without my prompting! I saw sculpted faces, coil decorations and coffee mug handles on their pots! Once the pots dry they will be ready for painting next week!