It is good
to have a local Zambian potter come in to the class for a demonstration.
I had Mr. Chatyola but I'm guessing you can't pay his flight from
The clay needs
to be slapped, molded, pushed, massaged, and
played with in order to get it pliable. Allow the students
time to play and experiment with the clay before beginning the project.
If you try to give them any instructions after the clay is opened,
they aren't going to listen. So, play
are a few things to remember while working.
1. The pieces
of clay should not be more than about one half inch thick. (This may
require hollowing out thicker objects.) When joining pieces of clay,
students must score both sides of the
contacting pieces before connecting them. Scoring is simply making
the edges rough with your clay tools. If you attach a head to a body,
both pieces need to be scored.
a slurry mixture of clay and water, applied to both sides being scored
helps with this process.
3. And, it
is very important to put the clay back in a sealed plastic bag each
time until the project is finished.
If I had the
students every day, I would allow three or four sessions for the projects
to be made. However, since I have them once a week, I give them two
periods. Those who finished in that time have no homework. Those who
don't wrap the clay up in damp muslin and newspaper and then use two
plastic bags. When the work is finished, the clay needs a week to
If your school
has a kiln, somebody must know how to fire it up. Ask the art teacher
or whoever else is in the know. If you find yourself in Zambia,
Mr. Chatyola will fire the work for you.
I have the
students finish up their work by painting with acrylic paint. That
takes about two periods. Finally, spray each clay creation with an
Copyright 2000, revised
2012 by Phillip Martin All rights reserved.