Unit 2 Clay & Artifacts
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  • 1. Rules in the Clay Studio1. Clay and glazes contain silica, which is not good for you.Work carefully to avoid disturbing dust.2. Clay must be kept moist while you are working on a project.You are solely responsible for keeping your clay projectscovered with plastic.3. Clay clogs the drain! When you are done working for theday, you must clean your tools and your hands in rinsebuckets.4. You must also wipe your tables with a damp rag. Thisminimizes dust, and leaves the studio clean for other artists.
  • 2. The Tools1) Clay – basically dirt & water2) Kiln – a device used to cook all moisture out of clay; there are manytypes, but we will use an electric kiln. Clay must be fired (heated in a kiln)in order to become permanently formed.3) Modelling tool – anything that helps to shape clay (a spoon, asmooth stone); we have specially designed wood modelling tools.4) Ribs – metal or wood; can be smooth or serrated (toothed); serratedribs are good for scoring.
  • 3. The Tools5) Ribbons – metal loops that function as carving tools; come in various shapes & sizes.6) Pin tool – a metal pin or a toothpick; useful for putting ventilation holes in a piece7) Glaze – silica-based colourant; glazes must also be fired in a kiln to become permanent; makes pottery food safe.
  • 4. Clay Stages1) Greenware – clay that has not been fired2) Slip – watery clay (like milk); used as glue when joining piece of clay.3) Leather-hard – clay that has partially dried; it holds up its own form,but can still be manipulated.4) Bone dry – clay that cannot lose anymore moisture without beingfired; it looks off-white. Clay must always be bone dry before firing, or itwill explode!5) Bisque ware – clay that has been fired but not glazed; it is white.6) Glaze ware – clay that has been glazed
  • 5. Important Processes1) Wedging – also called kneading; pushing & pulling the clay to get it to a homogenous state (even moisture, no air bubbles).2) Scoring – creating rough texture where two pieces of clay will be joined; slip must be applied to the scored area before welding the clay.3) Welding – blending two pieces of clay together, after scoring & slipping.
  • 6. Crucial Things to Remember!● Maintain even thickness (0.5 in / 1cm) to avoid cracks● Dry evenly (cover work in plastic)●● Eliminate air bubbles and contained air (or your piece will explode in the kiln).
  • 7. Pinch Pot Project You will make a pinch pot. Your vessel must be at least 3 inches in one dimension. Once you have shaped your vessels, you will decorate their surfaces using a motif. A motif is a design that is repeated in an artwork. Examples – spots, stripes, various shapes... You will glaze your pinch pot after it is bisque fired. Marked out of 12 points: Form - 4 points, Motif – 4 points, Glaze – 4 points
  • 8. Investigating ArtifactsKEY QUESTION: What can you learn about a culture from its artwork?WHAT IS AN ARTIFACT? Artifacts are objects that show the main characteristics of a specific culture.
  • 9. Investigating Artifacts
  • 10. Investigating ArtifactsPrehistoric cave painting1. Before written history; recording through pictures2. As old as 32,000 years3. Hunter-gatherer society4. Materials found in nature – pigments from plants5. Basic shapes; not realistic drawings6. Found in France, Spain, Australia, Africa, Asia
  • 11. Investigating Artifacts Greek / Etruscan vase painting
  • 12. Investigating ArtifactsGreek ceramics (clay art)1. First century B.C. (0 – 100 B.C.)2. Fired clay is incredibly durable.3. Many styles throughout ancient Greek history, but most well-known for painting figures on clay.4. Narrative – the paintings tell stories (legends, mythology).5. Tools: iron-rich clay, pottery wheel (& coil-building)
  • 13. Investigating Artifacts From Ancient Pompei, a caricature of a politician
  • 14. Investigating ArtifactsGraffiti1. Markings on private/public property. Debate: art or vandalism?2. Graffiti, as we know it, started in 1969 in New York City.3. “Tags” – how a graffiti artist distinguishes him/herself from so many others4. Shows an individualistic society (culture that values individuals over the community)5. Tools: spray paint, markers6. Style: from bubble/block letters to simple scratches7. Content: social, political messages
  • 15. Artifact Project Make your own artifact that shows part of a culture you live in & experience daily. (cultures: teen, family, punk, emo, hip hop/rap, a specific sport, dance, materialist, spiritual/ religious) Your artifact must be at least 4 inches in one dimension. Your sculpture must be hollow. IDEA: Make a simple shape (cylinder, box). Draw on the form (cave painting style, graffiti style, figures like the Greeks).
  • 16. Ayumi Horie Malcolm Mobutu Smith
  • 17. Glazing Glaze is a clay-based colourant. Glazes must be fired in a kiln to become permanent.
  • 18. Glazing Important things to remember: 1. Glaze makes clay food safe. 2. Glazes change their appearance after being fired. 3. Glaze fuses to anything it touches in the kiln. Keep the bottom of your work clean up to 0.5 inch/ 1cm from the bottom. 4. Mix the glaze before applying it. Apply 3 even coats of glaze.
  • 19. Examples of Good Glaze
  • 20. Glazing Techniques1) Dipping – immersing the entire clay piece into glaze; after dippingyou MUST remove all glaze from the bottom with a wet rag.2) Pouring – pouring glaze onto your clay piece; again you MUSTremove all glaze from the bottom with a wet rag.3) Brushing – painting the glaze onto the clay piece using paintbrushes; since glaze is a thick, sandy material, it is crucial that you cleanyour brushes with soap so that no glaze is left in the bristles.4) Overlapping – mixing glazes in a separate container or on the claypiece can provide very interesting results.
  • 21. Glazing Techniques5) Masking – glaze will not stick to areas of the clay that have beencovered with masking tape; you can use tape to create patterns on yourwork and then remove the tape before firing.6) Sgraffito – scratching through a layer of glaze to create patterns ofunglazed clay7) Mishima – putting glaze in carved designs, and wiping away theexcess. The glaze only stays in the carved areas.