Musings about the importance and impact of art and art education in the 21st century.

Clay sunflowers -1st grade

♠ Posted by ArtMuse in at 4:24 PM

First graders were inspired by Sunflowers by Van Gogh.  But really, it's quite easy to get elementary aged children to fall in love with Vincent van Gogh...One look at Starry Night and they're hooked. 

I introduced the unit, which will be comprised of these clay sunflowers and a still-life painting of sunflowers, by reading the story Camile and the Sunflowers.  Before I read the story I showed the students a Smartboard file with some images from the book to give them a bit of background.  I showed them some pictures of Van Gogh's work that is illustrated in the story.  I also showed them the various paintings that the artist had done of  the Roulin family. 

 I set up a still life of sunflowers so the students would have a visual (this would later be used in their still-life paintings)

 I showed the students how to make a pinch pot and then pinch the edges to create simulated petals.  I created an oak tag template and had students flatten a piece of clay and then trace from the template to create some 'leaves'.  In some classes I skipped the template and had them simply flatten and piece of clay and pinch the edges, similar to the way the pinch pot was made.  To attach the two pieces I tried two approaches.  The first way  was the traditional score, slip, and smooth, the other way was that I bisque fired the clay slabs and pinch pots separately and then glaze fired the parts so they fused together.  I used Mayco Stroke & Coat in Sunkissed, Dandelion, just froggy,  irish luck, java bean,  and crackerjack brown.