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I love incorporating various subjects together! It allows us to better immerse in the subject, gain a better understanding of the subject matter, and allows us to minimize busy work and leave more time for play!
In history we have been talking about the Early Explorers - the Conquistadors and their relationship/impact on the native Aztecs (they conquered and wiped them out). We learned a lot & had a LOT of fun – see my Early Explorers post for more on that. So we decided to create art like the Aztecs did. They aren’t exactly a Famous Artist like the others we’ve studied, but they definitely had a lot of beautiful, unique art in their culture. PLUS this gave us a chance to explore art made with clay!
We kneaded the clay a couple minutes until it was ready to roll into ropes.
Then using the Aztec technique we wrapped the rope around like a cinnamon roll. Once we had the cinnamon roll base we continued using pieces of rope to stack up on the sides.
Next we smoothed out the sides making sure there were no gaps between layers of rope.
Then we added decorations to the pot. We added monkey (typical for Aztec pots) and a bear (Goofy’s favorite animal). We made the pieces and then pressed them on the pot.
After allowing the pots to dry completely (48+ hours) we painted the outside black with acrylic paint.
Here is our finished product and what an Aztec finished product looked like.
I’m sure you’ve seen it in a museum at some point. Clay suns are still made in Mexico in a place called Metepec by the Nahua Indians, who are descendants of the Aztecs
Again we kneaded the clay slightly and then divided the dough into 3 parts (each a little smaller than the pile before). Out of the biggest pile we made a circle that was tallest in the middle.
Then out the middle pile we divided it into 8 equal parts and made triangles. We pressed it carefully around the circle. Then we used a pencil to create the lines on the triangles. Finally we took the smallest pile and rolled it into a thin rope. We created the facial features you see below and carefully pressed them on the sun. We allowed it to air dry 24-48 hours and TADA!