April 18, 2013
Sometimes you have to give them a little push…not because they need it but you do. I was getting awfully tired of lumps of clay with sticks in them, with seashells in them, with beads in them. So one day two weeks ago, I gave a child a lump of clay and asked “Wanna know how to make a pinch pot?”
They (I don’t remember if “they” was a he or a she) said yes. I shoved my two thumbs into the center and proceeded to pinch the sides of a very rudimentary pot. “Can you do that?” I asked balling up the clay again and handing it over.
Of course, they could and before I knew it, I had a table full of pinch pots drying on our table. The next day I offered paint and on the third day I got out two small bottles of acrylic glaze “to make them shiny.” We now had pots in every stage of development and everywhere in between. One girl, for instance, wanted to glaze her unpainted pot. Sure, why not! So this went on for a while and then earlier this week a girl asked for some clay and told me that she wasn’t going to make a pot; she was going to make something else.
She made a long thin animal but didn’t like it. She started again with the same clay and made a heftier animal. It was, she informed me a guinea pig. It actually did look like a long haired guinea pig with no legs visible. “Do you have a guinea pig?” I asked. The longer I looked at it, the more like a guinea pig it looked! “No, we went to a guinea pig store but we DIDN’T GET ONE (this was quite adamant.) We just went to the store.”
The next day she wanted to paint it but as she picked it up, the two tiny ears fell off. I gave her a choice: she could paint the guinea pig and the ears separately and then glue them on OR she could glue them on today and paint it tomorrow. She ran to get the glue. The ears were so tiny I finally had to help her glue them on. Then we covered the drying guinea pig with a bucket to protect the ears from the wind. (Our clay table is outside.) She even noticed that the handle of the bucket was caught under one side and she was worried that the wind might get in. We fixed that.
I can’t tell you with what trepidation I lifted the pail off the next morning but there were the two ears firmly glued in place. Hurrah! The girl spent today painting her sculpture. She painted a wide white stripe and then wanted brown paint, but she was stumped. We were out of brown paint! So she and I went on a quest to other rooms of the school and found some brown paint. She then finished the body with a blue stripe.
The ears were painted blue and the rest of the face brown. Doesn’t it look exactly like a long-haired guinea pig? (Are there long-haired guinea pigs or is that hamsters I’m thinking of?)
That’s when she informed me that the two tiny pieces glued to the head were not ears; they were eyes. Okay, Rachel, but I still see a guinea pig whenever I look at it, especially in this photo.