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kids and teapots

updated mon 22 jan 07


primalmommy on sat 20 jan 07

I have a couple of little girls, second and third graders, who come once
a week for private lessons. They just made two really sweet teapots.

I gave them each a very hemispherical plastic bowl lined with the fabric
sheer curtains are made of, though plastic wrap would have worked as
well. I had rolled out a thick slab and they tore off bits and textured
them deeply -- roulettes, tennis shoe prints, stamps, whatever. They
they put them print side down in the bowl, edge to edge like a patchwork
quilt. When the bowl was full to the rim they carefully smeared the
edges of the pieces together so there were no gaps. Then they each did a
second one.

We scored and slipped the top edges of both bowls, (the clay bowls still
inside the plastic bowls) -- then kind of screwed them together, lifted
the top plastic bowl off to "oooo" at the pattern, and then and let them
be until the next class.

When they returned, the loosely covered spheres could be removed from
their mold-bowls and stood on their stiffer top sides. I showed them
pictures of teapots, shapes of spouts, lids, knobs, handles, and we held
up rough coils to "try on" different shapes and sizes before deciding
what to make.

The lids were cut out of the top like a pumpkin carving -- at an angle,
so they wouldn't fall in -- and a handbuilt coil was added for a flange.
They had a blast making knobs: I asked them each to make three and then
try them all on and choose one. It's remarkable to listen to them
critique and compare, uncoached, at their young age.

Explain to them that the tip of the spout has to be as tall as the top
of the pot, or else when the pot is filled to halfway it will begin to
pee all over the table.

My girls rolled fat carrot coils for handles and then rolled them
flattish with a patterned roulette, but there are lots of ways to make

I showed them how to make a spout by pushing a wooden dowel or spout
tool through a fat carrot of clay, and another by making a printed slab
and rolling it around a cone with a small tip. They chose which to use.

They were really pleased with their finished pots, and their parents
will be as well. I'll find a glaze like falls creek shino that breaks
nicely over the patterns, and a good safe liner glaze, and they'll be
able to use these pots (be they ever so child-made and dorky-charming).

Kelly in Ohio... off to make a long overdue blog entry about the new
semester. Miles to go before I sleep...

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sacredclay on sun 21 jan 07

Kelly, so good to hear from you! Whenever a week goes by without a
postinf from you, I get unmistakibly anxious! I love the decriptions of
what you've done with the girls! I think I am going to try that with my
newbies adult class in a few weeks. It's a marvelous idea! Please,
please, post pixs of the finished teapots. they sound absolutely
charming! with warmest regards, Kathryn in nc drinking vanilla caramel
tea. No washing wood ash today or making "homemade" soap either!

little girls, second and third graders, who come once
> a week for private lessons. They just made two really sweet teapots.