Thursday, March 7, 2013

Clay Nesting Birds

 This was a wonderful project and the kindergarten and first grade children had so much fun.  I think everyone loves clay!  I had to use air-dry clay because we don't have a kiln.  It worked pretty well except that it is drier than regular clay, so the children were not always successful at getting their pieces to stick together after drying.  I went in before class and glued things back together.

 I demonstrated how to make a pinch pot for the nest.  Then I showed them how a bird is made of simple shapes.  A ball for the head, a larger ball for the body, a flat sausage for the tail, and a cone for the beak.  I rolled a ball in my hands to show them.  I rolled a sausage on the table.  When you roll a sausage, you have to roll both back and forth and to the sides, or your sausage will get flat before you are ready.  Look at this charming little sculpture.  The birds are separate from the nest, because the little girl who made it wants to be able to play with her sculpture, and put the birds in and out.  Look at the sweet birds, with the newborn baby bird sitting on top of the mother's back.  The mother seems to be spreading her wings to keep her baby from falling off.

 This nest has so many eggs that it takes two birds to keep them warm!  To stick separate pieces of clay together, take a pointy tool, (we used wooden skewers) and draw tic tac toe games on each piece.  Put a touch of water on top of the tic tac toe scratches with your fingertip, and join.  Try to smooth the pieces together with your fingers or a popsicle stick.

 This bird is keeping her eggs warm in a very relaxing way.

 The boy who made this wanted his bird to be next to the nest.  Maybe it is landing or taking off.

 This yellow bird seems hunkered down on the nest, waiting patiently, her wings spread protectively.

 The little girl who made this showed me that she made pink with red and white for the bird's head.

 This bird seems so cozily nestled inside her nest.

 What a dynamic little sculpture this is.  Look how one bird's tail is cocked high, so she looks very perky and bright.  The other bird is landing or taking flight.  The painting is colorful!  Polka dots!

See how this pink-bodied bird has her wings spread over her eggs.  I love these sculptures.  As the children made them birds were twittering outside and we all felt that spring was coming. Looking at the sculptures touched my heart because of the tenderness, protectiveness, and patience shown by the parent birds for their eggs and babies.


Jimmie said...

Beth, I love these sculptures too. I'd like to have been a fly on the wall to hear what the children were chirping about while making these special birds and nests.

Two of my grandchildren (two grandaughters, the five grandsons are not coming) are coming up to have "Nana Camp" with me in several weeks. You've inspired me to take them into the woods to commune with nature and then back to the house to sculpt our very own spring nests.

What a great idea you had!

Love from Diane in North Carolina

Beth said...

Diane, you sound like such a fun grandmother! I think they will have a great time! Beth