“Is it a bag of cheese? It looks like a bag of cheese!”

Over the past couple of weeks, friends have been working with clay in the Studio!  Clay is one of my favorite mediums to introduce in the Studio because it’s open-ended and allows for rich conversation and imaginative play.

What do you think this material is?

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Kofi: It looks like paper mache.  It’s heavier though.

Maia: Soft and mushy.  Is it frozen?

Abigail: It’s cookie dough because it’s white and it’s cold.

Ronan: I think it’s clay.  Hey, I didn’t know it would be wet.

Selwyn: It’s a potato because it makes the table dirty and it’s the color of a potato.  It’s heavy to me but I’m strong, I’m so strong.  I can pick up the potato.

William: Is that slime?

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Adrian: I thought clay was brown.

Andres: Is it marshmallows?

Marley: Is it a bag of cheese?  It looks like a bag of cheese.

Alberto: If it’s clay then bricks are made from it.

Christian: It’s like a stone block.

Luke: When it dries, it’ll be hard like my skull.

Mae: Is it claydough?  Clay… like ballet.

Florentina: Hey, that feels interesting.  Is it wet paper that you put in a bag?

Once we discovered that the mystery material was clay, I introduced some different types of tools that would be available to use with the clay.

Daniel: It looks like what you use to flip a pancake.  And this one is a bammer… it bams spiders.

Ryler: That looks like a little fork.  It makes lines like a fork.

Abdoulaye: Cookers use that to make dough flat.

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Alberto: Tools can do much more things then hands.

Kofi: That tool looks like a duck beak.  The wire tool makes it flat like a pizza dough.  Or a pillow.  It’s perfect.

Yonathan: That tool scratches like a tiger.

Bennett: I’m using the hammer like my daddy.

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Mackenzi: The wire looks like nunchucks.

Mouhammadou: When you cut it with scissors, flatten it up with the hammer to make it feel better.

… and here are some finished sculptures!

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Kofi: That’s the thing about art… you have to get messy.  That’s the point.

Seed balls: They’re getting all snuggled up for their nap!

We are getting very excited for our Market that’s now only a week away!  On Monday and Tuesday of this week, friends made seed balls (aka seed bombs used in guerrilla gardening.)  Seed balls are a mixture of air drying clay, soil and herb/wildflower seeds. Children kneaded clay to soften it, then mixed in soil before adding in seeds.  When the seed balls were ready, friends rolled them in more soil and set them aside to dry.  Once they are dry, the seed balls can be thrown at a wall/ground and the seeds will be dispersed in the area!  Children are excited to sell seed balls at the Market, as well as save some for us to throw around our school during art groups at the end of the school year.

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Sasha:  So you throw it at the ground and then flowers will grow there?

Michael:  Look at the soil.  I’m squishing it and it’s getting stuck to the clay.  I hid my seeds deep in the clay.  You’ll only see them when you throw them.  When you throw it, it will make things beautiful!

Phoenix:  This ones like a rock.  It’s hard like clay.  I put soil on like a cherry on top.  The little ones go to the market and the big ones we can throw.  When I throw this one, it’s going to be a big plant because it’s a big ball.  Bigger balls have more seeds.  Little balls have little seeds.

Edwin:  So you throw it at the wall and it breaks and them flowers grow?  Let’s throw by where we play soccer because there are no flowers there.

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Noah:  The plants are going to be happy when the seeds are warm in the seed balls.

Leah:  Goodnight little seeds!  Don’t be scared in the seed ball.  The seeds is sleeping so we have to bang so quietly.  Don’t wake them.  We are taking care of the seeds.  They will never die.

Cole:  The seed balls gonna travel and then it lands and the little fella seeds will grow.  What will happen to the little seedies?  Goodnight little seeds.  See you when you grow.  I’ll cover them with soil.  This is my seeds little home.

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Alberto:  They’re getting all snuggled up for their nap!   Some seeds are small and some are hairy.  They look like little eggs.

Sylvie:  The seeds are getting comfy.  Goodnight seeds.  Enjoy your seed ball.    

Today after Service, a couple friends from each class joined me in the Studio to make labels for our herbal products.  Some children practiced their new fancy writing skills and then used liquid watercolors to paint on top of their words.  The turned out beautiful and we can’t wait to share these products with families next week!

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