I am working on ordering my supply list of the year (I know it seems late, but I have all sorts of stuff in my room to use up). I am having issues trying to weigh out what to order and what to pass on when it comes to specialty items like printmaking, clay, glazes, metal tooling and such.
In a perfect world I would do all these special projects with every kid every year - however, the budget of less than $2.oo per kid just isn't going to stretch that far.
Here is my priority:
2) everything else.
I think it is important to do clay each and every year because kids love it, it lasts FOREVER, and it really is unique. My issue is that clay is expensive, but manageable -- my real issue comes down to glazes. I feel like glazing is almost as important to the clay experience as actually building with the clay. Trusting that your pale chalky glaze will turn into bright shinny colors is almost magical.
So here is my thought/issue or rather my options as I see them:
1) Do clay and glazes like normal and forgo any printmaking, metal tooling.
2) Do traditional clay for most classes, do some sculpey clay beads for another, few glazes, and printmaking or metal tooling.
3) Do clay but no glazes this year and get printmaking, metal tooling, and some paint for the clay.
I should note that when I talk about printmaking I want to get some cutting blocks and really do printmaking - not just Styrofoam plates. While it works great for younger kids, it doesn't really capture the awesomeness of printmaking.
1) Is it necessary to use clay that is fired for all grades every year or is it acceptable to do a clay project with a different type of clay like sculpey?
2) Are my students missing out on the full clay experience if we paint their clay instead of glazing?
3) Is it better to keep the full experience of clay with glaze if it means other art options are not explored?
What do some of you do with a limited budget and the desire to give kids a well rounded, explored art base?