Students will be introduced to the ceramic handbuilding technique of pinching. They will be introduced to the history of faberge eggs through visuals and online resources to be inspired to create their own combined pinch pot faberge egg.
Step 1: Introduction to the Ceramics Pinch Pot Method and the history of Faberge Eggs-
Class PowerPoint presentation with Graphic Organizer
- What is a pinch pot?
- Steps to create a pinch pot
- How to create a combined pinch pot
- The importance of creating a hole in the bottom of the combined pinch pot. Trapped Air = Explosion
- Introduction to Faberge Eggs
- Czar Alexander III
- Forms of Decorating our Ceramic Faberge Eggs
- Impressions, carving, attaching clay shapes
Step 2: Introduction to Project
Review Project handout and requirements
- Be sure to include project mandatories such as height, width and wall thickness.
Step 3: Planning
The students will create 2 different thumbnail sketches for their faberge eggs. I provide students with a worksheet that has the proper egg shape and size. This gives them something to try to mimic when creating the egg form later. They may use images from their research, or images within books for inspiration for their designs as long as they are altered enough to become their own original artwork. Remind them of the importance of these being organized, intricate designs to achieve the desired "expensive" look. I like to put out clay and the tool cart so that students can experiment with impressions and textures.
The student will review the thumbnail options with the teacher to discuss which is the best to proceed with to ensure success. The teacher will approve the final sketch.
Step 4: Creating the bottom pinch pot
The teacher will walk the students through creating the first, bottom pinch pot as a class. Be sure they neatly carve their name and class period in the bottom before placing it on the board. They also must create a hole in the bottom to make sure that air does not get trapped when the piece is fired. The most challenging part of this for students is creating an even wall thickness and controlling the shape of the pinch pot to resemble the bottom half of an egg.
Step 5: Create the top pinch pot
Now that students have created a pinch pot, provide scaffolding and rather than doing a step by step pinch pot with the students, move around the room to assist as needed as students create the top shape for their egg.
Step 6: Combine the pinch pots
Remind the students the importance of scoring and slipping when attaching two pieces of clay. Also be sure they use wooden tools to fully attach their seems. The goal is for this to look like one solid piece of clay.
Step 7: Decorating the egg
Students will follow their sketches to create their detailed patterns and designs through carving, impressions and attaching clay shapes.
Step 8: Plan out colors and placement: How to use underglazes
The teacher will review color palettes and options with the students.
The teacher will explain and demonstrate the use and clean up of the underglazes.
Step 9: Project Completion
Self Critique and projects turned in
Please note: you can have students apply a Clear Glaze and refire these after the bisque fire if you want to achieve a glossy finish.
Grade 9-12 Visual Arts Standard 1
Understanding and applying media, techniques, and processes
Grade 9-12 Visual Arts Standard 3
Choosing and evaluating a range of subject matter, symbols, and ideas
Grade 9-12 Visual Arts Standard 4
Understanding the visual arts in relation to history and cultures
Grade 9-12 Visual Arts Standard 5
Reflecting upon and assessing the characteristics and merits of their work and the work of others
Click on all the images on this page for full size.
Fabergé Eggs - At this site you learn about the famous Easter Eggs Karl Gustavovich Fabergé made for the Tsars Alexander III and Nicholas II as Easter gifts to their Tsarinas. There is also a gallery of eggs.
Book: Faberge Eggs : A Book of Ornaments - Beautifully reproduced on sturdy cardboard in this accordian-style book are five of the exquisite Imperial Easter Eggs designed by Russian jeweler nd goldsmith Peter Carl Faberge.
Fabergé Imperial Easter Eggs - This site has information on the Eggs Tradition in Russia; one about the Russian Imperial family and the Fabergé House; then a list of all the Imperial Easter Eggs; There is then a section with other Karl Fabergé's and Modern Eggs made by Theo Fabergé.