Personal Coat of Arms
Use slab building and low relief sculpting methods to teach your students about heraldry and symbolism by building their own personal coat of arms!
Every student should roll out a slab that will be large enough to cut out their template shape. Allow the slabs to harden a bit for ease of use. Have each student cut out these shapes using a fettling knife.
Slipping and Scoring
Once the elements are cut out and arranged, be sure they are scored and slipped before added to the crest. Details can be carved back in if harmed in the joining process.
Texture and Details
Pass out a series of textured materials to help add surface details to your student’s projects. Explain how glaze will work together with the surface texture to accent their work.
Before the work is leather hard, students should punch two holes in the upper corners so the work can be hung on a wall. A crevice may also be made in the middle of the back of the crest to hang on a nail.
Bisque fire the bone dry crests to cone 04 and pass them back to your students for glazing.
Sketching and Research:
Start by showing students examples of coats of arms and heraldry. Have them first sketch what shape their crest will be and how the imagery will be composed. Discuss the use of symbols by cultures around the world. Provide students with examples of symbols and their meanings then brainstorm a list of personal symbols and their meanings that relate to them. Have them pick four symbols and complete their sketch and share them with the class for feedback!
Students make templates of the shape their coat of arms by cutting paper to fit their desired form. They may also want to cut templates out for each symbol so they may be arranged and rearranged for the best design.
Have your students use a series of colorful low fire glazes or underglazes to bring their family crests to life, explaining the symbolic and powerful use of color in history.
Final Firing and Presentation
Glaze fire the family crests and return them to your students. They can show the class their final work of art and explain their symbolism and what their coat of arms represents. Have them draw their final coat of arms including the description of each symbol as well as a list of challenges and successes that they each encountered during the project.