Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Ceramic Fish Wall Hangings

Every year, Calcasieu Parish hosts a student art exhibit.  Each year there is a different theme- in the past we have done "Black and White", "Green Works", and a host of other 'fun' themes.  This year, the theme is "Fins and Feathers".  The feathers side of the exhibit is two-dimensional works of art that depict birds in some way.  The fins side of the world is three-dimensional depictions of fish with the caveat that they must be able to hang on a wall.  Hence, the ceramic fish wall-hanging project.  Quite possibly my most favorite project I have ever done.

Here's the lesson plan Clay Fish Lesson Plan

We started off by doing some visual research on ceramic fish sculptures- and wow.  There are a multitude of amazing fish sculptures out there.  From there the students drew out a design on paper for their fish sculptures, and can I just tell you, their creativity blew me away!  We have lantern fish, sharks, koi fish, a "cat" fish, angel fish, marlin, sea turtles, even a "fancy" fish!  Next, it was on to the clay...

Students received slabs of clay which they shaped into their fish; keeping in mind that they had to be flat on the bottom so that the sculptures could be hung on the wall.  We used newspaper to drape the slabs of clay over so they wouldn't flatten out.  They added a piece of slab to the back side of their fish (which we poked holes into for hanging purposes).

They coiled, rolled slabs, carved, and slipped and scored to their hearts content!  After the fish dried out for over a week (it's pretty humid here in south Louisiana), I bisque fired them.  Now on to the glazing...

One more firing session to go and they will be finished!!  Check back soon for the finished product :)

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