It's Santa Cookie Plate Time!
I am posting this now because this project will take time to fire up in the kiln if you choose to do it.
For the past 6 years we have created
- Santa heads, reindeer, elf heads, snowmen,
- gingerbread men, stockings...
I wish I had photos of them all for you!
These are so much fun and the project I hear the most about from appreciative parents at our school. You cannot be weak at heart, though...they do take preparation and time, but I will tell you that it is SO WORTH IT!
We begin with potters clay (I use versa white 20 from Amaco because it is smooth, easy to work with and fires white and clean)
I have my fifth/fourth grade kids help me roll slabs and cut the circle or miscellaneous shapes for me from patterns. They are placed on the plates (below) which are then given to each Kindergarten student. I once rolled them all myself...all 80 or so! Not anymore. Besides, my older kids love the idea of being an elf and it only reinforces their slab concepts.
I take the morning to organize all of the items and clay parts I will need for a group of 20 smiling kiddies. For example, I roll a quick slab and cut sloppy little strips of clay for the fuzz of Santas hat. I am a big stickler for having the kids assemble these parts with as little of my finger prints on them as possible. When they get a chunk of clay for the nose, they will roll it, dip it in water and stick it on. The BEST PROJECTS I get are the ones with funky eyes and silly smiles. I only fix something that will break/fall off or fire sharp. I figure the parents want their cute paw prints anyway...not mine.
After they are dried and fired in the kiln, we paint them with food safe glazes. I do check that they are complete and have often put a "final" clear glaze over them to make sure they are sealed and ready for the kiln.
We also make a big fuss to wrap them in Christmas paper as a surprise for their parents. First, our local grocery store kindly donates the foam food boxes from their fish department...like the kind you take restaurant food home in. Then our teachers donate old wrapping paper to us, etc. So much fun!