My son brought this ceramic jellyfish home from ceramic class the other day. I was ecstatic and could not wait a single second to hang it in our garden. It dances in the wind so beautifully. I just love the juxtaposition of materials, the soft wispy colorful fabrics next to the ceramic head. When one of our teachers, Jillian, came up with this project I thought the combination of ceramic with the fabric would be so amazing. And it is.
This is such a great tactile project for kids. They are basically making slab bowls on molds but keeping them upside down. After rolling out a slab we place the clay over bowls that I got from the dollar store. We use doilies from flea markets to make the textures in the clay.
They lay the dollies over the clay and then using a rice paddle the kids whack the doilies into the clay to create the textures. The harder they push it into the clay the more articulate the patterns.
If they wanted they just wipe the pattern away and try another one or layer pattern over pattern.
The whacking really is the most fun for them but the ohs and aahs that happen when they peel the doilies off the clay is pretty wonderful to witness as well. Clay is such a physical medium whether throwing on a wheel or rolling out a slab for constructing something large.
We had them put a hole in the top to place a rope for hanging. We also had them place holes all around the bottom for the fabric to be woven and tied. After they were fired and glazed and fired again, I just ripped long strips of fabric with different colors and patterns and they chose which ones they wanted to use and wove it in, making knots in the back.
I was so happy to be one of the lucky families to get one of these and Gus is so proud to have a sculpture hanging in our garden. He says it makes the birds happy.