Posted by: MiniMonets | July 11, 2018

Slab Moon Faces

Our third clay project drew inspiration from the moon since the artists would be learning about Negative Space. This project would be teaching the artists to create a slab sculpture that would also have additive space. We first used rollers to roll the air dry clay flat but could be in any shape the artist desired. Next, we used textured rollers to create our own versions to the craters found on the moon’s surface. Finally, we drew faces to create our own Man in the Moon. Once the faces were drawn, artists cut out the mouth that they drew. Older artists were allowed to cut out more parts of their face. By completely removing the clay, they created Negative Space. It’s easier to see this concept with clay since the artists can now look completely through their slab sculpture.

In clay, when part of a sculpture is partially or completely removed, it becomes subtractive. This can create negative space when it is completely removed. Artists were able to choose what they wanted to remove and mouths were very popular for being cut all the way out. The final step during the first class was to add the removed clay back onto the slab. When air-dry clay is reconnected, there is a four-step process called the 4 S’s to make that bond stronger: Scoring, applying Slip, Sticking, and Smoothing. To Score clay, tiny holes, marks, or scratches are made into the surface where a new piece is to be attached. Next, a thin layer of Slip (water or clay-water) must be rubbed over the area. This acts like a glue and makes the clay slippery. After the slip is applied, the new piece of clay can be Stuck on top of the slip, and finally the outer edges must be Smoothed together to seal the bond. This was a new technique for my classes that made their coil pots out of Model Magic. The pieces that stood out from the slab are known as additive space because they were added and rise above the original slab of clay.

I began the second class by reading Rocket Boy Goes to the Moon by Joy Findlay as an introduction to the moon during the first class During the second class, I gave the artists white, blue, gold, and silver to paint their slab sculptures. They had complete creative control whether they wanted to paint a face, use repeating shapes or colors, or a blend of colors for an abstract design. While the artists were painting, I read parts of the book The Moon: Amazing Moon Facts About the Moon plus Photos by Jenny Kellett.

The objective of this lesson is to continue to work in clay with creating negative space and using the 4 S’s of Scoring, applying Slip, Sticking and Smoothing clay to create additive space.


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