This summer when I was researching possible starting points for our Native American cultures study, I came across a blog post on lindsay lou's happenings that had information about a new-to-me artist named Dawning Pollen Shorty. Pollen Shorty is a Native American artist who makes awesome earthy figures out of the micaceous clay found near Taos Pueblo which she fires the traditional way. I don't want to post pictures of her work without permission so please, look her up, and check out this article about her family!
Only a few students decided to take a risk and try this "adventure" during our Choose Your Own Adventure (CYOA) Native American inspired clay lesson. It was a little challenging but the few who tried it did a pretty decent job. They started by separating a bit of clay that would later be used to form a head. The rest of the clay was formed into a slab and curved so that it would stand and support itself. Attaching the head was the trickiest part. Later, when the clay was dry, the students painted with tempera cakes. We don't have a kiln or access to one, so this year we tried coating the painted projects in a multimedia varnish. I am really pleased with the result! It added a nice sheen and strengthened the pieces.
Below is my choice board for our clay projects. You can read about the other CYOA projects here: