Third Grade: Ceramic Jewelry

ceramic jewelry

See these finished pieces and other amazing works by Dryden Central School District K-5 students at our district-wide K-5 Art Show on May 16th!


First Grade: Soul/Sole Necklaces

First graders created these beautiful homophone necklaces. Homophones are words that sound the same, but are spelled differently and carry different meanings, like “soul” and “sole.” We started with a sphere of clay, into which we poured all of our frustration, joy, sadness, fear and energy from our soul. Then we used the sole of our shoe to capture all of our emotions, creating beautiful and unexpected textures.

I love that you can see their pride through these photographs:

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year…

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Clay time 🙂

I used to be afraid of clay. Last year, every time I went into my supplies closet I would avoid eye contact with my big scary kiln.

My background is in printmaking and photography, so when I started teaching last year, pushing into the 3D world was intimidating for me. But, I knew I couldn’t just skip it, and thank goodness for that because now I just love it!

It’s really neat to see kids who are normally boisterous and rough actually breathing for once, and being so incredibly gentle and focused with the clay. I love this job!

Third Grade: Birds of Hope

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How beautiful are these?! Originally, I intended to have the third graders glaze their birds, but then I read this post by Abbey Hendrickson (my former art teacher!) and was inspired by that darling little gold bird on the chicken coop. It was a last minute decision, but sometimes those are my best.

To introduce this lesson, I asked the third graders, “What do you hope to see more of in our world?” These “Birds of Hope” represent the third graders’ ideas, as one of my students said “to make our world even more awesome!” Couldn’t have said it better myself 🙂

Speaking of being awesome, check out Abbey Hendrickson’s recently published book, You are Awesome: 21 Crafts to Make you Happy on Amazon!

Fifth Grade Face Jugs: In progress



Fifth grade face jugs have just been fired in the kiln and are about to be glazed! This process has been quite an exciting one for my students…there is something so magical about starting with a slab of clay and using your hands to transform it into something three-dimensional that is both beautiful and functional.

Face jugs are one of the first forms of folk art created by African Americans. It is believed that slave families living in the United States placed these “Ugly Jugs” near the entrance to their homes to ward off evil spirits.The fifth graders were challenged to create their own form of a face jug, and had the task of conveying an emotion through facial expression. I absolutely cannot wait to see the finished, glazed products!

Here are three “greenware” terra cotta face jugs. Greenware is clay work that has not yet been fired.


Here is one of my students who came down during her recess time to work on her jug. It’s such a great feeling when  kids ask to spend extra time in the art room :)


If you’d like to learn more about face jugs, check out this kid-friendly link from PBS. My students really enjoyed watching it, and it was a great way to introduce the topic! To all of the art educators out there: There’s even a free Power Point!

Come back soon to see our finished, glazed jugs!