Check out what the artists at Buffalo Elementary are creating!
The mask unit is a favorite among Davenport 4th grade artists. At Buffalo we begin this unit by created a small mask out of clay. I demonstrate how to press an oval-shaped sphere into a slab base, adding eyes, a nose, mouth, horns, and designs. The only tools they use are a sharpened pencil and a Popsicle stick (and a toothbrush to scratch and attach when we use the earthenware clay). I encourage them to be creative and make their mask unique. They practice making a mask one day with modeling clay and use stoneware clay on the second day. This ensures that the stoneware clay will not dry out too much from them working and re-working it. They are so creative!
After the masks were bisque-fired, it was time to glaze. I ordered some new colors from Blick (Blick Essential Gloss Glazes) and am happy with the results. In my art room, each table is labeled with a color. I placed red glaze at the red table, orange at the orange table, etc. I also set out black and white for the students to use. It is important to apply 3 coats of the glaze to ensure a bright and glossy color.
One of my favorite things as an art teacher is opening up a glaze fire. The masks are beautiful! I am so proud of the 4th grade work. Here are a few.
The masks are on display in the 4th/5th grade pod! Be sure to go check them out at the STEAM night on March 2nd!