This summer I taught a couple of kids ceramics classes. One of the projects that I made with my 4-6th graders was animal banks. (Think piggy banks, but using any animal of your choosing.) This is my sample project:
The process to make these is fairly simple, though it does involve quite a few steps. You start by wadding up newspaper into the basic form of your animal. In this case, it was sort of a fat triangle. Then you roll out a large sheet of clay and cover over the paper "armature", shaping it into the shape of the body of the animal. Next you make anything that needs to be attached (eyes, arms and legs, fins, etc.), attach those and cut a coin slot and add a couple other vents. This one has vents in the form of the mouth and gill slits. The vents help it to survive the kiln. Lastly, add any details that you want.
When you fire the animal, the paper burns out and you are left with a bunch of ashes inside that you can shake out through the coin slot or one of the vents.
I'm pretty happy with the way that the shape came out, but I'm disappointed with the glaze on this guy. I like the blue and green, but those big black areas around the fins were supposed to be just a slightly darker shade of green.
Oh well. C'est la vie.
And lastly, a gratuitous doggie pic.
I'd love to hear what you all think of it, as well as any suggestions you might have on ways that I could improve the process.