High School Arts Content Standards 2.0 Creative Expression 2.1 Create original works of art of increasing complexity and skill that reflect their feelings and points of view. 4.0 Aesthetic Valuing 4.4 Articulate the process and rational for refining and reworking one of their own works of art.
Slab Building Hand building pottery using slabs of clay is an exciting way to create shapes that could never be produced using a potter's wheel or that would be difficult to achieve even with coiling. Slab pots are being produced by contemporary potters in many styles and using a number of techniques.
History of Slab Building Slab-building techniques were used extensively by Mesoamerican Pre-Columbian potters, with some very beautiful results. Other than these potters, though, slab pots were not used much by other ancient cultures across the globe.
Slab Building Today, slab pots and slab- building techniques are experiencing a new popularity. Modern potters and ceramic sculptors have embraced the slab, creating works using both soft slabs and stiff leather-hard slabs.
Making Slabs Slabs can be made in a variety of methods. -The most common method is to roll out the slab by hand using a rolling pin. Other methods include using: -Slab rollers: large pieces of equipment that enable potters to roll large slabs to uniform thicknesses very rapidly. -Hand Tossing: slab can be formed by tossing the clay onto a hard surface at an angle.
Soft Slab Construction Many potters have developed a style that uses slabs that have just been freshly rolled out and are still very damp. These soft slabs can be formed into lovely, flowing structures often reminiscent of leather. They can be used to with slump molds or draped over hump molds to create repeatable forms, leaving the potter to concentrate more on finishing the form with surface textures, decorations, or firing effects.
Designing Your Project Think about the properties of a soft slab. What can you do with it? You will need to look for a texture that you like.
What Can you Make with a Soft Slab of Clay? You can wrap it around a cylinder. What could you make?
What Can you Make with a Soft Slab of Clay? You can drape it over a mold, a ball, a bowl, or anything else that isn’t sharp. What could you make?
What Can you Make with a Soft Slab of Clay? You can slump it into a bowl, a plate, box or anything else that isn’t sharp. What could you make?
Soft Slab Requirements It should be: –“Family Size” – Textured – Finished on all sides, including the lip It needs to have a handle, foot, or decorative attachment which matches and is attached well. The project must take advantage of the properties of a soft slab. The project must be three dimensional (not a tile or flat wall hanging).