5th grade Clay Looms

5th grade students completed a mixed media project, combining ceramics and textiles to create looms for weaving. While the project required multiple steps and some patience, the end results were stunningly beautiful. 

Students started by rolling slabs of clay, cutting out a frame, and poking holes in two ends for warp strings. Students then decorated the clay with various clay tools to cover the surface in all-over texture. Important reminders about the ceramic steps: a. Make sure the corners of the looms are wide enough to prevent breakage, b. Make sure the slab isn’t too thin, and c. Make sure the holes are large enough (even with shrinkage) to accommodate warp string. 

Once the clay was bisque-fired, students colored on the looms with crayon. A black tempera paint wash was coated over the crayon, and the excess wiped off. This created a resist design. Important reminders about this step: make sure to press hard with crayons. Oil pastel can also be used. 

Students then began phase two of the project- the weaving portion. Students wove warp strings through the holes. A small round file can be used to smooth any sharp pieces inside the holes. 

I showed the students this fun weaving video to show them the basics. They enjoyed the music and the fast pace with slowed down recaps. It is a great resource to play while circulating around the room, providing assistance. 

Students then had choices on yarn color, beads, feathers, box weave, ryas, tassels, and patterns. Weaving is such a zen project, I love using it during the crazy last weeks of school. Check out a few of the finished products below. (Next year I will remember to take photos of the entire process!)


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