Clay Leaves

After years of using Sculpey synthetic clay with my students, we were officially introduced to REAL clay in the fall of 2016 when a guest art teacher from Texas spent a day in my classroom helping to get our clay program up and running! Stories and pictures from our initial clay successes (and near disasters!) are here.

During the fall of 2017, students again had the opportunity to work with clay when we did the same project. We started by wedging low-fire white clay, and then used rolling pins to roll each slab to about 1/2" thick. Next, students selected a leaf, placed it right side up on top of their clay, and gently pushed down and rubbed to transfer the texture of the leaf onto the clay. They carefully traced the leaf, cutting all the way through the clay, and pulled away the excess.



They turned the leaf over, and scratched (scored) it in 3 evenly-spaced locations. Using some of their leftover clay, they made 3 small, flattened balls. After scoring these, they used a bit of water to attach the new "feet" to the reverse side of their leaf. (They also scratched their initials somewhere on the back.)


The finished leaves were placed on waxed paper to dry.

Students who did the leaf project the previous year could do another leaf, or they could choose to do a different clay project.

While the clay leaves were drying, students worked on other art projects.
After several weeks, I did a bisque firing, which turned the previously gray leaves hard and white.

On our next "Clay Day," students applied simple gloss glazes to their leaves.
They glazed the top and the bottom of the leaves, but they did NOT glaze the "feet" to keep them from fusing to the kiln shelf.


It was hard for some students to believe that the dull colors of the glazes would become so vibrant once they were fired.
It's always fun to open the kiln to see the difference!


We hope to make more time for clay projects in the future!


Home | Lesson Plans | My Artwork | More About Me | Genealogy | Contact |