Getting started with clay

Experience and imagination

Imaginative creatures from stories, poems, songs, drama, television series, films, pantomime or the circus, as well as friends, family members and family pets, are ideal subjects for working in clay. Children should be encouraged to create sturdy figures that will stand or sit, otherwise they will be frustrated to find that their figures fall over. The emphasis should be on creating form and on capturing some of the essential characteristics of the object or figure such as strength, roundness, fragility, or robustness. Group work may be appropriate at times, where children share ideas in developing a theme or project.

Children should have opportunities to see sculpture (or slides or prints) of a variety of styles and periods, for example the work of Moore, Rodin, Michelangelo, and Brancusi, as well as pottery from pre-Columbian Central and South America and from the Benin and Ashanti people of Africa.