Start with a list of questions and they have to write the answers about themselves. They get into favorite music, instruments, sports, equipment, recreation, hobbies, leisure time activity, family history, family vocations, magazines they like, and so on. If the box is to be a gift, they make the list about the user.
After the list of words is fairly long, they make small sketches or symbols next to each word. Think of sketches as visual lists. Artists make visual lists to develop and elaborate good ideas and to eliminate weak ideas. These symbols will be used to make the Soft-cut stamps. A different symbol can be carved in each side of the stamp. One side if the stamp may be an Adinkra symbol.
It is also helpful to have students make a list of items that could be stored in a clay box. This can be done by having them get in groups of three or four and brainstorming lists. After the groups have written their lists ask them to share the ideas with the class.
Students will make stamps with the 2" (5 cm) square Soft-kut plates - creating symbols to represent themselves. The stamps are used to pre-texture the sides of the box. Make cardboard box to help support slabs. Our boxes were about 6" x 9" (15 x 23 cm). American cheese boxes from the cafeteria were also used for a long and narrow box. We cut the cheese boxes on the table saw to 2" (5 cm) deep.
The bottom slab is first cut in the shape to fit inside cardboard box. Roll out slab of clay large enough for side of box. Stamp with personal stamps (close together). Cut slabs to fit inside box. Wrap slabs up over night. Students assemble slabs inside cardboard box using scoring and slip. They fill in corners with a thin coil to make the interiors easy to clean and sturdy. Wads of paper are inserted to keep tops from sagging. Slabs are fused to the bottom of lid to fit just inside the box to keep lid from sliding. Measure inside dimension of box to insure correct size and placement of slabs.
Something supportive of the main idea must be incorporated in the decoration. Requiring decoration is a good way to encourage more creative problem solving experience. There are many ways to decorate, including:
Adding clay to the surface - head, tail and legs can be added to turn into an animal (African inspired). some students added small animals to the lid.
Using a stamp designed by the student with an idea based on the list
Words relating to the user, the contents, or meaning intended.
African Secrets Visual Arts and Craft - The episode focuses on stone and metal sculpture, painting, batik printing, basket weaving and pottery, among other forms of art. It unveils the secret behind artist's conceptualization of art. It also tells on the administration of the visual arts industry in the country.
African Art Techniques: Wood, Cloth, Metal, Clay - Detailed footage of the techniques African artists use to carve wooden masks and stools, to cast brass, smelt and forge iron, to spin, dye, and weave cotton cloth, and to form and fire pottery.