Inspiration in Clay

Stories and Nature Inspired Clay Works

How We Express Ourselves

In this past month, EY Arts students have been exploring and creating with clay as mentioned in the previous posts. Kindergarten learners had a focus on being inspired by nature while Pre-K learners were focused on story-telling and creating characters out of clay.

Both Kindergarten and Pre-K artists have created bowls, cups, baskets, statues, animals, and many other objects out of clay. Some thought about what they wanted to create while others experimented with the clay until they came up with an idea. In the EY Arts Blog ‘Clay in a ‘Pinch’ the process the children went through to create these pieces is explained. Here are a few examples.

Children created whatever came to mind. Many pinch pots turned into animals such as elephants and birds while tiles turned into stories or gardens. 

Next, Kindergarten students went on to create tiles, sculptures and weaving frames while looking to nature for inspiration, as artists.

Children were asked to draw a sketch of what they wanted to make.

First, Children were asked to draw a sketch of what they wanted to make.

Then with a rolled-out piece of clay they began to add and mold the clay to create what they wanted.

Once the clay was dry, they were fired in a kiln. Next, the pieces were glazed.

Next, the pieces were glazed. Again, the artwork was fired once more, and these are some of the results.

Picture Gallery:

Next, Kindergarten students were asked to think of something from nature that they could add a weaving area to. We had talked about how we can get ideas from nature, for example, a spider web. We looked carefully at the patterns spiders make when weaving their web and we used this as an inspiration for our clay pieces.

Again, children were to draw out their ideas that would include an area for weaving within their clay work.

Once the drawings were made, children were given a rolled-out piece of clay to make a circle or star into the clay. Then repeating the idea from their sketches, they began to etch and then cut the clay to the shape they wanted.

Once the clay had been fired in the kiln. The pieces were glazed.

String was strung through the holes and the children wove yarn between the strings. Each chose the color or colors they wanted and could weave as little or as much of the area as they liked.

Children were very proud of their ‘nature inspired weavers’. Thanks to spiders we were able to study their weaving patterns and come up with ideas of our own.

Sample Gallery:

Titles include:

A Horse, Tree in Autumn, Inspired by a Rainbow, A White Bone, Mystery Colored Bone, Horse in Field, Waves, Horse with Glaze, Wave Ripples, Waves Crashing on Rocks, Tree from Clay and Modeling Clay, Double Rainbow

Pre-K students continued to create pinch pots while others made story tiles. Here are a few samples below: 

First, the drawing of the story.

Then, creating the story out of clay.

Next, Glazing

 Samples of students Work with stories:

Olivia –The Movie “Once there was a unicorn and she really anted a toy crab. And she her mom said, “Ok, I will buy one for you.” And then they went back home and played some games, and dinner and went to bed. And they woke up in the morning and then they went out shopping for food and then they went home to have a rest and then watched tv. And then they listened to nice music and then they drawed some nice pictures.”

Ben- The Sun “Once upon a time there were two trees being too hot by the sun and the two trees said, “can you please go away!” So the sun went away into the town and went higher up instead of being low down. The trees said, “we miss the sun. It is too dark and too cold.” And then the sun comes back and they are all happy.” The End

Anastasia- Angry Dinosaur “Once upon a time there was a dinosaur and a cat and the cat did go to the dinosaur world. Then the cat did go to the back of the dinosaur and then the dinosaur was angry! He say, “Get off my back!” But the cat said, “let’s be friends.” And then they played together ‘Hide and Seek’.” The End

Braden- Wind “There was a bird who was flying over a shooting star and then the star was by the moon. The clouds were moving by the wind and then the light was moving into a hole made by a star. Then the waves got bigger. Then the waves got smaller and then they got medium. Then it got small so then there was not so much wind and it got cloudy. Then it wasn’t wavy anymore.” The End

Charlie- Playing With Cat “I am in my house and I am playing with my cat. And now I cook hamburgers. Then I made a fire outside and cooked my marshmallows. I eat it and my brother ate it and my mom and my dad. Then I sleep. 

Taya- Unicorn “Once upon a time there was a princess named Annabelle. One day she went for a walk and got lost in forest and then she found a unicorn and she said, “Can you help me please to get home?” The unicorn said, “Climb on my back. I’ll take you home and the unicorn take the princess home.” The End

Sample Work Gallery:


All Grades: Eco Fair Art Opportunity

All ES Artists are invited to create an artwork for our ECO FAIR art exhibit. All works will be shown.

Theme; Wildlife Animals, Birds or Insects

Create a 2D or 3D artwork of your favorite Wildlife.

2D artworks should be no bigger than an A3 paper.

Choose any art form you like! Painting, Drawing, Printmaking, Junk Modelling, Sculpture, Photography.

  • Bring your finished work to the Hall of Flags on Thursday 18 April
  • Pin it on the boards available on the day
  • Place 3D art works on the table
  • Be sure that your name and class can be seen on the work.

Thank you for bringing joy, celebration and color to our Eco Fair, through art!

Student Led Conferences

Be sure to stop by the EY Arts Classroom for Student Led Conferences tomorrow, March 28th.  Activities will be set up in the classroom along with sample questions and ‘step by step’ explanations of the specific learning areas we’ve been engaged in. These areas will be closed to activities, however; they are set up so that the children can more easily and authentically facilitate their conference.

Looking forward to seeing you all tomorrow.

Rainforest, Inspired By Nature

Kindergarten Open Inquiry

How We Express Ourselves

Artists use nature as inspiration for creativity and innovation. 

Children who chose to come to the EY Arts Room for Open Inquiry decided to work together to create the project that we now call ‘The Rainforest.’  This was the process.

One our first day together as a small group children were asked to ‘brainstorm’ what they knew was nature. The first responses were;

“Trees, Birds, Worms, Rainbows, Water and Dirt”

Trees seemed to be the most popular response so we went a little deeper into our thinking.

“Where do we find trees?”

“Forest, Rainforest, Africa, Jungle, Playground, Park”

Among these responses the children expressed an interest in knowing more about the Rainforest.

“I have a forest in my head. It has loads of trees and butterflies and birds and bees.” -Franka

“And pond, birds are singing to my ears.” -Sasha

What do we know about a Rainforest?

“Lots of waterfalls, water, trees.” -Banu

“Lots of rain, water.” -Sasha and Zahra

“There are lots of green.” -Franca

To find out more about the Rainforest we watched a short video clip in order to learn more about the Rainforest.

These were the children’s responses:

“It’s Dangerous! You could die there. You would need a weapon! I will have nightmares!” -Sasha

“They have lots of frogs and insects.” -Zahra

“I saw there are a lot of dangerous stuff, spiders, monkeys.” -Sasha

“The poisonous frogs.” -Franca

“Lots of insects and birds.” -Banu

“Lots of rain and lots of water.” – Franca and Sasha

After learning more about the Rainforest and having had further discussions the children decided they wanted to recreate a Rainforest. Our first step was to draw elements of a Rainforest individually and then take each of the children’s ideas to create an idea together. These were quick sketches to capture our ideas.



After looking at the drawings we decided that our Rainforest should have the following:

Ponds (lots of water), Waterfall, Trees, Animals (frogs, parrots, Toucans, Howler monkeys, Tree Snakes, Spiders, Tarantulas, Butterflies), Insects

“How about the roots?” -Sasha  “Snakes are in the rainforest.” -Franca  “Snails” -Zahra “Spiders” -Sasha “I made a pond.”

“Birds are also in the rainforest.” -Yanni

“Old trees and bending.” -Sasha

“Raindrops and sun at the rainforest.” -Banu

“Chameleons.” -Yanni’s cousin (guest for the day)

“Eagle rising.” -Yanni

As artists we began to recreate a Rainforest.

Step 1: Drawing Out Our Ideas

Step 2: Creating Animals Out Of Modeling Clay AND Creating A Forest Floor Out of Clay

Step 3: While Waiting for the Forest Floor Clay to Dry and To Be Bisque Fired We…

Wrapped the tubes with wire, tape, paper mache and then painted the trees. Next came the leaves.

Step 4: Our Bisque Fired Forest Floor split into 3 pieces so we glazed each piece separately.

Step 5: Once all the elements of our project were ready (animals, trees, foundation) we put them together to create our Rainforest. The children helped to place the trees, animals and moss.

This project will be on display soon in the Early Years Hallway,.


What was your favorite part of this project?

“When we made the trees that we glued the leaves because you can glue the leaves easily on the tree.” -Yehela

“I like when we were taping the wires on the trees.” -Felix

“I liked putting the moss and the animals together in the forest.” -Franca

“I liked when we were doing the animals. The lizard.” -Banu

“I liked when we painted the forest floor with glaze.” -Yanni

What did you learn?

“We learned about the Rainforest.”-Felix

“And we learned how to make animals out of the modeling clay.” -Yanni

What are you the most pride of?

“I am most proud that we finished our project.” -Franca

“”I am most proud of the painting the trees. We had to try different paints because not all worked.” -Felix

Telling Stories Through the Arts


Please be sure to join us for our Pre-K Expo tomorrow, Friday, March 1st from 9:00am to 11am. Pre-K and EY Arts will feature children’s work. We look forward to seeing you then. Sneak peaks here.

Story Collage, Two Foxes and A Cat (Rainbow Forest) Process described below

Ceramic Tiles; Planning, Telling and Creating Tiles With Clay










Documentation Board; Stories, Process and Story Clips

Documentation Board; Stories, Process and Story Clips  










Who We Are

Our Identity As Artist

As stories begin to emerge, Pre-K students were keen to write a story about two foxes. Children began by brainstorming and building onto one another’s ideas. This beginning of the discussion went something like this.

“We were make a forest. There is a fox in there.”

“We will make some trees.” 

“And a wolf.” 

“And  a cat.” 

“The cat is lost, her or he.”

“Two Foxes, one big, one small.”

Connections were made.“One time the cat was outside and we can not found our cat. We waited by the door and then my sister did find my cat. I could hear outside.” And this is where our story unfolded.

Two Foxes and A Cat (Now Called Rainbow Forest)

“The two foxes were going into the woods. They find their home. On their way they found a cat! The cat was scared and ran away. The little fox played with toys. The big fox her look for food to eat. Then they eat the food, meat! After they did eat they go outside together. Then they did ‘Hide and Seek. They picked flowers. (after they played) They put flowers in water. The flowers opened.”

The End

Written by Eszter, Anastasia, Charlie, Stefan, Mary and Luisa

Children start to plan our their drawing. The setting to our story.

Working together to add oil pastel to their drawing.

After adding the oil pastel to the setting, children started to paint with dyes.

“Look at our rainbow forest!”

Next, children added glitter, bottle caps, cotton balls, and a few characters. Amir and Jasmin decided to help this story group out by helping to add details to the painting.



Children gathered around the artwork and decided it needed something more.

ON DISPLAY in the Pre-K Hallway from March 1st- 4th.







Music, Feelings, Color and Movement

How The World Works

Through interpreting art people can make personal connections and develop an appreciation.

Popular stories like My Many Colored Days by Dr. Suess continue to dazzle and inspire young artists. Here is a look at what children in EY Art class have been learning.

We read and moved to the story My Many Colored Days by Dr. Suess. This was a great study into how colors, feelings and music can be connected.

Below are pictures of the children interacting with the music and color of each page.

Music videos can not be uploaded as they may infringe on copyright laws.

After having read and moved to the story we talked about color and feelings. These were some of the children’s thoughts.

“I feel blue when I am crying!” -Sasha

“I feel yellow when I’m happy!” -Felix

“I red when I am angry!” -Eden

“I sometimes pink because I’m excited!” -Sammy

“I’m feeling green when I’m worried!” -Agniya

“I feel black when I’m like interrupted because my sister grabs from me. I ask her to give it back and she does not and I talk to mom and dad!” -Quincy

“I feel rainbow when I have everything mixed. Like, yellow-happy, red-really mad, blue-sad.”-Serhii

“When I am on a plane and I am sleeping I see black and I feel very sleepy.” Jaden

“I feel gray when I am sleepy.” -Eden

Next, children divided into groups. Each group had a color and they were to think of something that represented nature in that color. Each group worked together to make a page for our class book. Children had a choice of what they wanted to draw and what materials they wanted to use to add color. More emphasis was placed on the thoughts the children had rather than the technique of the drawings.

Below are pictures of children working together in groups.

Next, teams worked together to choose non-pitch instruments to create sounds that they felt would represent the nature they had drawn on paper.

Once the teams were finished with their story pages we sat in a circle and each team got to share what they had chosen with the class.

A title was voted on and a front cover was made.

These were some of our title suggestions. 🙂

Title Ideas:

Color Of Feelings, Colors From Nature, The Feelings of Nature, Different Colors of Nature, Nature Color, Rainbow Nature, Colored Day Which Are Changing, Colorful World, Many Colored Rainbow Days, Colorful Nature, Nature of Music

All pages were put together to create a book. This book was available for children to come to read adding non percussion, voice and body percussion to retell the story.

Below are Samples of the Children’s Work

Title Page: Rainbow Nature

Other ideas included:      Black – Spiders, Owl, Cave (with a bear and a baby),

Green – Grass, Alligator

Purple – Thunderstorms (The bird is flying. She is flying to the house and she found a hole in the house at the moment the thunder striked.”)

Blue – sky, water, stars, rain, peacock (“One day there lived a baby peacock and he didn’t have any food. Father and baby got angry and they went to look for a snake.”)

Orange – Fall leave, Orange Tree, Carrots

Pink – Flowers, Flamingo, Coral

Following this lesson children were inspired to begin learning how to draw animals and other ‘things’ from nature. Children also asked to paint with colors with different types of music playing.


Carnival of Animals by Camille Saint-Saëns

Pre-K students listened to passages read from pages of the Carnivale of Animals. Once they imagined themselves in the story scenario they listened to the music and moved as animals would if the pages of the books would come alive.

 After having listened and moved to the music children were asked to listen to a passage of music and imagine what animal that music could be about. What would they be doing? What would their story and movement be?

This inspired children to learn more about music, animals and animal drawings.

Below are children moving to the music. Can you guess what animal they are?

Here are some of the drawings children made of animals as they listened to different genres of music.


Clay in a ‘Pinch’

How We Express Ourselves

Artists use nature as inspiration for creativity and innovation.

In these past few weeks Pre-K and Kindergarten students have been exploring clay in their EY Arts class and in Kinder Open Inquiry. During this time they have had time to investigate the feel of clay when it is wet, dry and sticky. Children have been gathering ideas of what they might want to create and learning how to use clay tools properly, using the artistic vocabulary associated with the ceramic making process.

Learning the fundamentals of working various clay bodys and tools gives children the opportunity to learn what they need to understand when it comes time for them to imagine, design and make creations on their own.

We first begin by learning how to make a pinch pot. PInch pots are basic for cups, vases, animal bodies and much more.



Children are also beginning to also experient with rolled out pieces of clay for handbuilding, story tiles and sculptures.

Here we have children using ‘needle tools’. We know to keep the needle tool facing down or at an angle. When we are not using it it must be set down.

Needle tools are used for ‘scoring and slipping’ so that separate clay pieces can be added together to make one piece.

Once our clay dries we take our ‘greenware’ and we fire it in the kiln. This process takes several days as the ‘greenware’ is loaded into the kiln, fired, cooled, and then removed. The ‘greenware’ becomes ‘bisque’ fired pieces and now we are ready to glaze.

Below are examples of children glazing their ‘bisque ware’.

Once enough new ‘greenware’ and glazed ‘bisque ware’ is ready we will load the kiln for the final firing.

Clay Exploration

Who We Are / How We Express Ourselves

Artistic inspiration and creativity are connected to personal experiences.

Artists use nature as inspiration for creativity and innovation.

In EY Arts children have been exploring clay. As they begin to experience the attributes of clay some children continue to ‘feel’ the clay while others start to think of ways to create with it. Our creations are often inspired by nature, experiences, and the imagination.

The experience of discovering this natural material is exciting.

“It’s sticky!” “Look at me!” (clay hanging from fingers) “It’s cold and wet!” “Oh, it’s messy!”

As children explored the clay they made guesses as to what it was made of and where it came from.

“I go to camp in the summer. We go into the forest with a shovel and we dig in the ground and we find clay. We bring the clay back from the forest in Prague. That is where you find clay!” -Tomas

Below are some photos from the first days of clay exploration.

Below are a few examples of what children created while exploring the clay.


“We started to play with the clay and we got an idea. -Ben “And then we make 2 balls.” –Mateo

“I put a circle in the middle and then Anastasia made the lines. This is a submarine.” –Ben First we think it was an octopus and then we think it was a submarine.” –Yuna

“There was water in the tray so we could slip and slide it and pretend it was underwater.” –Ben

A Great Example of Team Work



Dragons and Snowmen


“This is the sister dragon. This is the brother dragon. And this is the mommy dragon. They are sleeping.”

“I first made three lines. After I made 2 little circles and a medium circle. I make a dragon with them. They are made out of clay. I did first get an idea and then I play.”

“The clay was soft.” –Emma G.


“Started playing with clay. I saw Aron making a snowman and it gave me the idea. First I made a snowman and it gave me an idea to make a family snowmans. Then I made a house for the snowmans.” –Lotti

“The snowmans hided from the dragons in the house.” –Lotti

Creativity and Sharing Ideas



“The dragons played with the snowmans. We were playing without voices.” Emma G.


Hockey Players

“We was having fun slipping these around. These were hockey players and we played. We just pushed them around so they slipped around playing hockey.”

If you put water in it it will slip.” –Ben and Georg

Innovative Thinking


In parallel to our clay exploration,  EY Arts students are learning how to properly use clay tools, developing clay related vocabulary and are involved in the process of producing a glazed ceramic pot, sculpture or story tile. More information on this process will be available in future posts.

Mixed Medium Exploration Expressing Ourselves to Music

How We Express Ourselves

Part of learning how to express ourselves through the Arts often begins with experimenting with various mediums. Learning what is available, how to use these materials and knowing how to take care of our supplies and tools. This is all a part of the creative process.

Students were asked to think about music and sounds when creating. Miro, Kandinsky and Mondrian are artists that the children have been introduced to and you can see the influence these artists had on the children’s work.

Below you see children working on sound cards that were later made into a hanging mobile.

These are some of the quotes by the children.

“It’s a tornado, it goes ‘shoooooshooo'”. -Tomas

“Birds are something that makes sounds, singing.” -Zofia

“There are birds can make noise when you be quiet.” -Yasmin

“I hear birds sometimes and they make music in my brain.” -Louisa

“Coyotes make sounds when they howl to the moon.” -Yanni

“The ocean makes waves and sounds.” -Jack

“I made a heart. It makes sounds and people sing about love.” -Emma  S.

Below are children working on a group project using ink, markers and dye.

Children begin by painting with ink, adding pastel or marker, and finishing with a dye.

These are our finished ink group projects.

Individual Ink Paintings are below. Some are experimental, others represent sound or have a story to tell. Here are a few examples below.

Children working on black glue line and circular creations. First we see children working on group projects.

Finished Group Projects Below

Black Glue, Marker, Dye

Below is a mix of ink and black glue lines.

Children working on individual glue projects, below.

Just like with our ink paintings some of our glue lines told a story.

Individual Ink and Dye Artworks

“A Dragon” -Sasha T.

“Waves make sounds.” -Emma G.

“This picture has sand (desert) which is the orange and blue is the Nile River. The black is a café which is tall (100 floors). One can go up. It also has a train station and a bus stop. I went to Egypt when I was 2 years old and made a connection with a holiday I did.” –Alexander S.

“A man diving into the water. It is my dad. He didn’t go in the sea. He go in the swimming pool.” –Jack

“The boat is sailing in the night and it’s my grandpa’s. Well I’ve been on his boat and it’s my nanna’s too and they are in Australia and I will see them in December.” –Franca

Below is a slide show of the children’s artworks