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Travis Intermediate Ceramics Faberge Eggs

"We started off the project talking about the history of the Russian Faberge eggs and the cost of them currently. The students were surprised how much the eggs were today and the amount of details were on them. Then we discussed where clay came from, how it became clay, then the stages of clay and the techniques we used with clay to create works of art.

The students were excited to work with the clay. They first learned about wedging to keep out air bubbles, then how to make coils for decorations and designs. Finally how to make pinch pots to create their Russian Faberge eggs. Some students followed the idea, but a few went their own direction in creating their egg ideas.

One day I had a student bring out their egg they were working on and were worried that it was cracked on the outside. So we talked about how we need to get it wet again and take it back to the wet stage. The student put water on the clay and used a sponge with a tool to blend the clay and smooth out the walls of the egg.

Another student was upset one day because the added details kept falling off the egg when they returned the following day. I had to review with the students the process of attaching details onto a surface. We talked about scoring the clay and using slip (the clay glue) to attach a item onto the clay wall.

After we let the clay dry for a week, many students thought it was done and they could take it home. We talked about how it now needed to be fired in a kiln. Than we would glaze (paint) the outside and fire again. Many were shocked at the color of the bisque when it returned form firing the first time.

When we went to glaze the eggs, students were confused about the colors of the glaze. I discussed with them how the clay was grey and turned white after firing the initial time. The same would be true with the glazes, as it would be one color and change after the final firing.

Overall I believe the students enjoyed this project and can't wait to do more clay projects in the future." Joni Stephenson, Travis Intermediate
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