Monday, February 7, 2011

Clay Cupcakes Part 1

Cupcakes...mmmm...I Love Cupcakes!

I decided to take my love of baking cupcakes to the Art room. Inspired by other teachers who have created clay cupcakes with their students, I introduced the art of Wayne Thiebaud to my 4th grade students. We started out by first doing a chalk drawing of a cupcake - discussing value and shading as we worked. I told them at the end of that class that next class we would be doing cupcakes again - but this time with clay. That of course got their attention!

The next class these students came into the Art room and you could just feel the excitement in the air. Clay Day! I had prepped the room ahead of time - putting out water cups, assorted clay tools, a stack of paper towels, some plastic cups to help mold the shape of the cupcake bottom, some pieces of corrugated cardboard, and the box of clay mats.

Students quickly created the bottom of the cupcake. I demonstrated how to create a pinch pot. Students then placed the pinch pot into the plastic cup lined with a paper towel. They pressed the pinch pot gently to shape it more like the cupcake bottom. The clay was flipped gently out of the cup and the ridges added to give the appearance of the cupcake liner. The ridges were added by pressing the sides of the pinch pot onto the piece of corrugated cardboard. This was a quick and easy way to create a great texture.

Another quick demonstration of how to create the top of the cupcake gave students enough ideas to make some delicious looking cupcake tops. Students were reminded that when you attach clay to clay you must slip and score. I have students use toothbrushes dipped in a little water to do this. This method works pretty well. I also show that the simplest tools - a pencil- can create some great details.

Here's a finished clay cupcake complete with a cherry on top!

Here is a table full of cupcakes ready to be transported to the kiln room. The students placed the paper towel they used in the plastic cup between the bottom and the top of the cupcake to keep it from sticking together.

Stay tuned to see the cupcakes after students glaze them. I think I am as excited as they are to see the finished results!