Catch of the Day” — Ceramic Fish

Clay fish plat­ter by Allison

Kids love clay! There’s just some­thing about get­ting your hands cov­ered with mud that kids can’t resist! Clay is a great medium for learn­ing about tex­ture and form, and its pos­si­bil­i­ties are end­less. Here are my direc­tions for this fun fish plat­ter.… a per­fect sum­mer project!

1. Draw a fun fish design on a piece of 9x12 con­struc­tion paper. Cut it out and set aside.

2. Roll out a slab of clay to about 3/8″ thick­ness. Make sure it’s a lit­tle big­ger all around than the fish you just drew. (I like to have stu­dents work on a piece of oil cloth with the fab­ric side up, to keep the clay from stick­ing, and use a sec­tion of 1″ diam­e­ter PVC pipe for rolling. Keep clay cov­ered with plas­tic until ready to use — it will dry out fast!)

3. Next, lay your fish design onto the clay and trace around the out­side edge with a pen­cil. Then remove your “tem­plate” and add any details you want to the inside of your fish, press­ing lightly, just to indi­cate placement.

4. Now is the time to add a few extra pieces (such as the eye, side fin and mouth in this exam­ple). Make sure you score (rough up) the sur­face and use some slip (clay mixed with water to a creamy con­sis­tency) and a cheap brush to attach the pieces.

5. Use a pointed stick or a straight­ened out paper clip to cut out your clay fish. Press all the way into the clay and just drag it around the out­line you drew with your pencil.

6. Finally, add some tex­ture! You can use just about any­thing to add tex­ture to clay.… but­tons, rub­ber stamps, lace doilies, shells, the edge of a pop­si­cle stick.… just about any­thing that’s not smooth!

7. Then care­fully turn your cre­ation over, place on top of some crum­pled up news­pa­per to give it shape, and let it dry com­pletely. Carve your name or ini­tials into the bot­tom if you want. Then fire, glaze, and fire again.

8. No kiln?? No prob­lem! Try Crayola’s Air Dry Clay for a fun alter­na­tive that has a sim­i­lar feel to real clay. It dries hard and doesn’t even require bak­ing. When dry, it can be painted with acrylics or water­col­ors, but should not be used for food or near heat or flame.… per­fect for a wall-hanging or paperweight!

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6 Responses to Catch of the Day” — Ceramic Fish

  1. Allison June 23, 2009 at 11:41 pm #

    I LOVED mak­ing this project! So fun!!

  2. Anonymous June 24, 2009 at 7:57 am #

    This looks famil­iar! You are amaz­ing!! Thanks for shar­ing your tal­ents, my friend : ) JoAnn

  3. Katie June 25, 2009 at 8:05 am #

    this is beautiful!

  4. Toni June 27, 2009 at 8:00 pm #

    this is too cute I assume you could do this with sculpty clay too.

  5. TeachKidsArt June 28, 2009 at 10:17 am #

    Yes, you could! Good idea!

  6. Clare W July 15, 2009 at 7:35 am #

    This is one of the cutest clay projects I’ve seen!!! I LOVE it!!! Can’t wait to try these fish with my kids at school!

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