Create a beautiful piece of pottery by hand using a few simple ingredients, and learn about the Native American Acoma tribe while doing it! Lucy M. Lewis was a potter who crafted storage jars, bowls, water jars, and tiny seed jars with fine-line geometric designs. So whip up an easy batch of cornstarch clay, and see what your child will be inspired to create.
What You Do:
- Have your child mix together the cornstarch, baking soda and water in a saucepan until they are well-combined.
- Help your child cook the mixture on a stove over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the texture resembles mashed potatoes. Then remove from the stove and let cool completely.
- Show your child how to knead the clay on a flat work surface, adding more cornstarch if necessary to bring the clay together.
- Now your child can form the clay into a ball and then push her thumbs into the center to create a hole.
- Use a pinching technique to build up the sides of the pot by stretching it to an even thickness.
- She can insert a large spoon into the pot and push it from the inside out, to create a gourd shape.
- Continue shaping the pot so the opening is about the same size as the bottom. The pot should have a rounded look.
- Once your child is finished shaping the pot, bake it in a 250 degree oven for about 25 minutes, until it's hard.
- Cool the pot completely, and then paint it white.
- Next, your child can add simple, repetitive designs with black paint. Thin black lines on top of a white background is the characteristic style of Lewis' pots.
Once dry, the Acoma pot is ready to display!