Featured Whole School Home Learning — 26 January 2021
Elmer – Clay Models

I was so impressed with the Elmer montages last week that I thought we’d stick with Elmer for another week, but this time look at some 3D art and make some Elmer models out of clay.

I have prepared a number of Elmer Clay Model Kits (that can be collected from the school office). Each kit contains some clay, a kneading (or wedging) cloth, a small container of slip, a paintbrush, plastic cup and paper clip!

I have written the instructions below, but also recorded a demonstration with some helpful hints. The demo is about 20 minutes long. When making my model Elmer I suggest in the demonstration that the head should be slightly larger than the ‘cubes’ made for Elmer’s feet. On reflection, it would only need to be slightly larger as the trunk is then added. So my recommendation is to make the head section about the size of a very large grape (and then add the trunk).

  1. Knead (or wedge) the clay on a piece of cloth for three or four minutes to get rid of any air pockets in the clay.
  2. Take just over half of your clay and mould it into the shape of a large egg!
  3. Make four feet. Each foot should be cube shaped (slightly larger than an oxo cube!)
  4. Attach the feet underneath Elmer’s body.
  5. Attach Elmer’s head and shape with the ‘downward curve’ where head meets body (look at the shape of Elmer as you do this).
  6. Attach the trunk to the head.
  7. Make a small pinched shape for Elmer’s tail and attach to your elephant’s bottom!
  8. Flatten out some clay and cut out two ears. Attach the top of the ears carefully to the body.
  9. Scratch your initials clearly on the underside of one of Elmer’s feet (with paper clip). Scratch your year group number under one of the other feet.
  10. Carefully finish off by ‘smoothing’ your model with a paintbrush and water. Be careful with the delicate parts such as the ears and the trunk.
  11. Bring your Elmer back to school. Put in Elmer pack and handle carefully!(Return the paintbrush, but we do not need plastic cup, small bits of left over clay/slip or paper clips to be returned).
  12. The demonstration will give you lots of little hints so I would suggest watching it before you set out to make your Elmer.

The clay models need to dry out completely before they are fired. Any moisture could result in them ‘exploding’ in the kiln and nobody wants exploding elephants!

When they are dry enough I will fire them. A biscuit firing will fire your elephants to about 1000 degrees! They will then become ‘pottery’ and I will will let you know when they’re ready for collection. They will then be ready for you to draw on your patchwork and paint in colourful Elmer colours. They can be varnished once painted to really finish them off.

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