GAMES THEN AND NOW – Clay Relief Sculpture

Students compare games children played in an ancient time period with those played today. They use Crayola Air Dry Clay to make a relief sculpture to communicate their ideas.

Required Time

180 Minutes

Grade Level

Grade 4 to Grade 8

Subject

Language Arts
Social Studies
Visual Arts

Vocabulary

additive clay techniques air dry clay detail form relief sculpture slip subtractive clay techniques tablet texture

Materials

Crayola Air Dry Clay Plastic Placemat Clay Carving Tools (only if available) Water Containers Soft Paintbrush Paper Towels Drawing Paper 30 cm x 45 cm (12" x 18") Pencils Small Plastic Bags Rulers Sucker Sticks Watercolour Paints

Shop Crayola Products

Steps

GAMES THEN AND NOW – Clay Relief Sculpture - Step One

Step One

Make a preliminary drawing on a paper the same size as the clay tablet you are going to create. A good size is 15 cm x 15 cm (6" x 6"). Begin by drawing a 1.5 cm (.5 ") border around the outer edge of the paper.

GAMES THEN AND NOW – Clay Relief Sculpture - Step Two

Step Two

Make the drawing fit inside the border of the paper.

GAMES THEN AND NOW – Clay Relief Sculpture - Step Three

Step Three

Place a small lump of air dry clay on a plastic placemat. Begin to make a slab by flattening the clay with the tips of your fingers.

GAMES THEN AND NOW – Clay Relief Sculpture - Step Four

Step Four

Roll the slab smooth with a rolling pin or dowel. Keep the thickness of the clay even and about 1.5 cm (.5") thick.

GAMES THEN AND NOW – Clay Relief Sculpture - Step Five

Step Five

Place the drawing on top of the slab of clay. Use a ruler to trim the sides of the clay.

GAMES THEN AND NOW – Clay Relief Sculpture - Step Six

Step Six

Use a ruler to press into the clay to form lines for the border.

GAMES THEN AND NOW – Clay Relief Sculpture - Step Seven

Step Seven

Use a dull pencil or sucker stick to trace the drawing onto the clay.

GAMES THEN AND NOW – Clay Relief Sculpture - Step Eight

Step Eight

Use a gouging tool, or skewer to remove clay from the background of the slab.

GAMES THEN AND NOW – Clay Relief Sculpture - Step Nine

Step Nine

Add clay to the surface to build up the forms.

GAMES THEN AND NOW – Clay Relief Sculpture - Step Ten

Step Ten

Add details and textures by adding clay or carving into the clay so the main forms stand out against a low background. 

GAMES THEN AND NOW – Clay Relief Sculpture - Step Eleven

Step Eleven

Use a ruler to straighten up the outer edges of the tablet.

GAMES THEN AND NOW – Clay Relief Sculpture - Step Twelve

Step Twelve

Place the tablet inside a plastic bag with a slightly dampened paper towel so it will dry slowly. Leave the bag open. Remove the tablet from the bag after 2 days. Allow the clay tablet to dry in the open air for 2 more days.

GAMES THEN AND NOW – Clay Relief Sculpture - Step Thirteen

Step Thirteen

Once the clay is completely dry use watercolour paints to paint it.

GAMES THEN AND NOW – Clay Relief Sculpture - Step Fourteen

Step Fourteen

Use a variety of colours to add interest and contrast to your tablet.

Learning Goals

Students will be able to:

  1. Use a variety of handbuilding techniques to create a clay tablet;
  2. Understand additive and subtractive clay techniques;
  3. Design a clay tablet that communicates ideas about the past and present;
  4. Demonstrate technical accomplishment and creativity; and
  5. Support their ideas with evidence found in the works.

Extensions

  1. Have students use clay slab construction to create a box that represents some aspect of an ancient time period based on research they have done. Have them write a message from the past and place it inside the box. Have them share their boxes in small groups and then create a class display.

Prepare

  1. Prior to this lesson have students work through the Score and Slip techniques lesson available on this site.
  2. Have students research games in ancient times.
  3. Create a sample.
  4. Have students prepare enough slip for sharing.
  5. Collect plastic bags for wrapping work.
  6. Make sure there is enough room for storage while the clay is drying.
  7. Download images of ancient civilization art works from the Internet, for example,
    Rome
    Greece
    Papyrus
    Egyptian Lintel
    Roman Medallion

Introduction

  1. Compare the Egyptian Lintel and the Hero or similar images of relief sculptures. Record students' observations about these two works. One is low relief (Egyptian Lintel) and the other is high relief. Summarize characteristics of relief sculptures based on these observations. List qualities that make the relief sculptures effective. For example,
    - use of detail
    - use of texture
    - balance of design 
    - levels
  2. Discuss the overall composition of the works and the stories they tell.
  3. Introduce the challenge.

 

Activities

The Challenge

  1. Design a clay tablet that communicates ideas about games in the past and present.
  2. Use additive and subtractive clay techniques to a create relief sculpture.
  3. Demonstrate technical accomplishment and creativity.
  4. Support your ideas with evidence found in the works.

The Process

  1. Have students plan the composition of their tablet based on their research. 
  2. Review the process of joining clay using the score and slip technique.
  3. Demonstrate the steps for making the tablet.
  4. Remind students they will need to use both the additive and subtractive clay techniques.
  5. Have students use paper clips, pencils and tape to make pin tools and carving tools.
  6. Have students share the slip.
  7. Follow the steps outlined in this lesson.
  8. Observe students as they work, providing individual assistance and encouragement as needed.

Sharing

  1. Place students into groups of about 6.
  2. Ask them to discuss their tablets and compare the way they are made. 
    - What do you notice about how students balanced their designs?
    - What stories do you see in these works?

    - What interests you about the tablets?
  3. After the small group discussions, ask students to share something of interest from their group with the whole class.

Assessment

  1. Observe students as they work  – thoughtful focus, discriminating, seeking more information, elaborating, experimenting
  2. Observe students as they discuss the art works – active listening, insightful contributions, supporting ideas with evidence found in the artwork and from personal experience.
  3. Have students use the self-assessment form to evaluate their work. (Download - TABLET_self-assessment.pdf)