Exploring with Wire and Clay
For the past two days we, in Brown Room, have worked on combining a new medium with an old favorite: wire and clay. On Friday and again this morning, we presented the children with balls of clay and four different gauges of wire. Children could use as many or as few of the materials as they liked and spent most of the mornings experimenting. For some like Charlton and Ford, the primary interest was in cutting the clay with the wire. Our clay cutting tools are made from wire, so it was safe to assume that strips of wire could do the same. However, both Ford and Charlton found that the thin wire bent too easily on impact and eventually navigated to the thicker gauge wire to complete the task.
For others, the holes the wires left in the clay were particularly noteworthy. Both Rawls and Cal took time carefully threading the wire all the way through the pieces of clay, marveling at the empty space left behind.
Others still enjoyed bending the wire, and Ramsey, Fay and Emma all started by making shapes with the wire before adding it to the clay. Charlton joined in this technique after his attempts to cut the clay were not as successful as he’d hoped. Once Fay finished her first sculpture, she wanted to “make a necklace” and began stabbing the wire through smaller parts of clay to create beads. Despite some of the beads breaking in the process, she continued on, determined, and finished a matching necklace/ bracelet set.
Fay: I’m cutting it with wire .It’s too hard to open up. This won’t work. Maybe I need one of the thin ones. Let’s try again
Cal: I’m just putting these things on here.
Rawls: I’m making a monster. It’s looking prettier and prettier. Grandpa monster is thirsty for some water! (the clay was dry and needed a spritz or water)
Cal: I’m a policeman. This is me when I was a policeman
Fay: I want to put it on my necklace. Some of them broke (as she beaded her wire).
Charlton: We need a cutter. I’m trying really hard to cut it. I can’t cut it cuz I’m breaking it in half!
Ramsey: I made so much wire, I just turned them all around.
Seon decided that she wanted to use no wire in her creation. While she tried it and watched some of the other children manipulate it into shapes, she decided to divide the clay into smaller pieces and stack it into a tower.