Teach This: Worry Warts

Worry Warts - Pottery Project

These fun Worry Warts are an easy project to make with grade schoolers and older. Using a small bit of clay, this is a great project when you only have one or two short classes to complete a project. We used lowfire clay when teaching this project, but any clay will do. Our samples were made with Velvet underglazes but the warts could be decorated with a variety of glaze or underglaze projects. Enjoy making these Worry Warts.

SUPPLY LIST:

  • White clay (25# yields 80 worry warts) Or about 1/3 lb per wart
  • Small plastic bag
  • Kemper High Temperature Wire (HTW)
  • Wire Cutter tool
  • Pin tool, toothpick, or other tip-tool
  • A Dull #2 pencil (mechanical pencils will not work)
  • Brushes & spouncers (sponge on stick)
  • Amaco Items:
  • Amaco Velvet Underglazes – whatever colors you have or want to provide
  • Amaco Black Velvet Underglaze, V361 Jet Black

We recommend that you do not use a glaze or underglaze product that will stick to your kiln shelves. We made this project with Amaco Velvet Underglazes and highly recommend them for this project.


Directions:

  1. Clay. From your pug of clay, cut one in 2x2x2 chunk, or pull off about a lemon sized ball of clay.
  2. Take your ball of clay and separate a small “olive size” section away. Set aside in a bag so it doesn’t dry out.
  3. Form your clay into a half sphere, with the flat side on the table. You can do so by rolling the clay into round ball, then shape into mound, tapping to flatten base.
  4. Poke your pointer finger into the middle of the flat base to hollow, leaving it a bit thick on the top of the mound.
  5. With the clay you previously set aside use a portion to make a coil of clay about 1” long. Thin the coil in the center by rolling it with your pinky finger. Turn ends up toward each other and flatten. The two ends of the cylinder are the eyes. Score and wet back side of eyes and position to mound.
  6. Push in center of each eye to create indent and attach to mound. Use dull pencil tip to indent eyes.
  7. Indent mouth using wood or other tool.
  8. Cut Kemper HTW (High Temperature Wire) into two 2” pieces for each antennae. Be sure to kink the end of the wire that goes into the clay at least twice, to form a tiny s, otherwise the wire can be pulled out even after firing.
  9. Insert antennae wires in top of mound. Push clay around wire hole to seal. Add balls of clay to top of antennae, pushing so wire almost comes through. Your clay balls should be a bit larger than the size of a pea.
  10. Cut 3” piece of HTW, kink one end, curl the wire into a flat loop on the other end. This makes a great little sign holder for sayings appropriate for your Worry Wart. Insert into mound and seal around wire.
  11. Make sure no wires are exposed inside Worry Wart. If needed, smooth a bit of clay over exposed wires inside Worry Wart.
  12. Allow Worry Warts to dry thoroughly prior to firing. We suggest air drying at least 7 days.

When completely dry, before or after bisque firing, decorate using Amaco Velvet underglazes or other product that does not stick to kiln shelves. Follow up with your favorite clear glaze.

Insert sign into sign holder.

 

At Stone Leaf Pottery, we are a full time teaching studio in addition to being a retail location. We use the products we sell! This project was originally created for a class taught at the Colorado Art Education Association Conference. We developed this class on our own, from our own ideas. We taught this class and used products from Laguna Clay, Amaco, and Kemper. We love those products and they were our own choices to use those for this project. Items from Laguna Clay and Amaco were donated to us to use during the Colorado Art Education Conference.

Happy Wart-ing!
~Sophia

Sophia