Clay modeling is recommended by the school curriculum in manual work lessons in the 1st and 2nd grade. If only there are conditions to introduce clay modeling in art classes with children, then this type of exercise is highly recommended, which allows you to build not only flat forms, but also three-dimensional, lumpy. An expression of some form, of an object in a solid helps to understand its construction and then to express it in a drawing. In addition, modeling develops finger dexterity and develops not only visual sensitivity, but also tactile. Before class, on which there will be clay molding, you have to cover the tables with old newspapers, on which we put pieces of well-made food for the children “on the cake” cops. We pay attention to children, so that they do not roll the clay on the paper, because the water soaks into it, the clay loses its elasticity and begins to crumble. The teacher should show, that it is best modeled from a whole piece of clay, forming it into the desired shape and dismembering it as needed, whereas children at first have a habit of molding small parts and of them stick together a whole form. After it dries, everything falls apart.
It is best to introduce children to sticking only with their fingers, without using any tools. During the molding, i.e. creating a solid form, you have to look at it from different sides and not leave gaps on its surface. Dry the surface with your fingertips, without dipping and smearing with water. It is not necessary to allow children to wash their hands while working, enough, how they wash them after they have finished modeling and after cleaning the station.
Because the kindergarten curriculum also includes clay modeling, so many children tried their abilities in this field even before starting school. At the first modeling class - whether at school, or in an art circle - children, following the path of least resistance, initially they want to glue it, what they usually did in kindergarten, some mushrooms, baskets, vegetables, fruit. The boys still want to build airplanes, cars and revolvers. It's not about that. In clay modeling classes, do not let children recreate, but let them make their own forms, small sculptures. Just like any other art class, yes, and modeling should be primarily creative, should develop children, stimulate their imagination, make them sensitive to the beauty of the sculpture.
At the beginning of the class, we briefly discuss the topic of future sculptures. It is best to limit it to human figures and animals (birds, mammals). The, it would seem, limited topics offer great opportunities for children's artistic expression. The human figure can express some interesting occupations for children, np. corner, airman, miner, fisherman. They can also be characters taken from fairy tales, legend, novels, like for example. wizard, Twardowski, etc.
Animals can be made by children from memory or from the show, there is no need to demand exact reproduction fidelity. Enough, if the nature of the animal is captured. Birds can be fantastic, some sort of "birds at all”. Sculpture is governed by different laws than in flat composition. You can't sculpt from clay, for example. stork, which has long and thin legs. A heavy torso cannot stand on thin legs, so you have to give up the stork.
Sometimes a long and thin tail is needed to characterize an animal, like for example. in a lion or a cow. You can't make a thin tail out of clay, because it will fall off. In this case, you can allow the tail to be seasoned with a string, embedding it in the body of a modeled animal. Sometimes some accessories are needed to express the character's character, np. witch's broom. Wire can then be used, wood, string and all sorts of materials. Children's modeling cannot claim a monumental sculpture, you have to beware of overloading your crafted items with too many additives, rather, to emphasize the molding of a lump of clay alone. Thanks to skilful correction, many artistic and technical problems can be explained to children.
After the activity is over, we place the sculptures on a shelf or in a wardrobe, to dry, in the, which will not fall apart, they will not break, can be painted with thick glue in the next class. You don't need to use too many colors to paint one sculpture. The excess of colors breaks the impression of uniformity of the sculpture, breaks the lump. Children love to make and then paint their sculptures, which can even be placed at home or given to parents or relatives.
Clay is best stored in a wooden box covered with zinc sheet. Because the clay dries, it needs to be sprinkled with water from time to time and covered with damp rags. If there are no conditions for storing clay, you can bring it to every job. One more note. If the clay is not greasy and crumbles after drying, it needs to be redone. Namely clay, which sometimes contains sand and pebbles, put in a large dish, np. something, and pour water. When clay dissolves in water, sand and pebbles settle at the bottom of the vessel. Then we collect the clean clay into the second vessel, add some linseed or rapeseed oil and mix it well with very thin clay. After some time, when excess water evaporates, the clay can now be used for modeling.
Plasticine is sometimes used for gluing, however, this material is not very suitable. First of all, plasticine is relatively expensive, so it is difficult to make larger forms out of it, and dirty clothes, leaving greasy stains on it. Clay stains can be cleaned with a brush after drying.