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Jan 22, 2018







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Autumn art
Get in the season with a leaf craft

10/16/14



 Because it’s a season that’s championed by its colors, autumn is an easy starting point for art teachers.

“As an art teacher, it is a great time of year to start teaching. It’s such an inspiration to our creativity,” said Karen McCormack, the art teacher at Broken Ground Elementary School in Concord. “Your eye tunes into the contrast of warm leaf colors against a cool-colored sky and you can tell, there is definite principles of contrast.”
McCormack uses clay to teach her students about the use of warm colors in the fall, making leaf imprints in the material to incorporate the use of both color and shape relating to nature in autumn.
“These make a gorgeous autumn-inspired centerpiece when multiple leaves are displayed together,” said McCormack. “Have every member of the family make one and it’s a fall decoration you will look forward to bringing out year after year.” 
 
Colorful Clay Leaves
To create the project, McCormack said you’ll need terra-cotta colored air-dry clay, a rolling pin, a knife (preferably a clay knife, but you can use a kitchen knife in a pinch), maple or oak leaves from outside, watercolor paints and Mod Podge gloss lustre. Typically, she uses clay that needs to dry in a kiln when she teaches the project to her students, but the difference in the finished product is minimal. You can get the clay and the Mod Podge for less than $5 each at WalMart or a craft store like Michael’s, and, if you don’t have watercolor paints on hand, you can get those for less than $5 as well. Since you can make many leaves once you get these supplies, each leaf costs significantly less than $5 to make.
 
Step 1: Take a small piece of clay and roll it out into a slab about  ¼-inch thick, making sure the clay is as large as the leaf.
 
Step 2: Place the leaf on the clay vein-side down and roll it gently onto the clay, enough to make an impression. 
 
Step 3: Use the knife to cut around the leaf shape, and pull away the excess clay.
 
Step 4: Remove the leaf and gently bend the clay to resemble the curves of a real autumn leaf. Dry according to the clay directions.
 
Step 5: Once the clay is dry, paint it with warm-colored watercolor paints. McCormack recommends using a little bit of brown as well. 
 
Step 6: Use a stiff brush and apply a thin coat of Mod Podge gloss lustre and let it dry completely.
 
As seen in the October 16, 2014 issue of the Hippo.





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