As the title suggests, I’m making chia pets with my Studio Art class. We started off with quick pinch pots to get a feel for the clay and moved right into chia pets. Here is my example pre-seeds.
I sculpted the body out of clay first (obviously). The clay needed to be hollowed out for several reasons. One because clay shouldn’t be thicker than your thumb or it will dry unevenly causing it to crack or explode in the kiln. Secondly, since we are making chia pets, the pet needs to have a place to hold water for the seeds. Clay absorbs and retains moisture very well which makes it an ideal material for a chia pet.
To hollow out the animal you first need to cut it in half. My students were terrified of that part! Once cut, you scoop out the inside clay, leaving a thin and even perimeter all the way around the animal.
Next you match up your halves and score and slip them together.
Once together you need to make a hole for your water to be poured into. I made mine roughly the size of a quarter. After the hole is made I scratched grooves every where I intended to put chia. P.S. You can buy chia at the grocery store, or in my case, Walmart. The grooves give the seeds something to cling to when you apply them later and retain a mini pool of water.
At this point the sculpture needs to dry slowly and then be fired in a kiln. Once fired you have the option to glaze part of the chia pet, just not the part you want the chia seeds to go.
Once fired the chia pets and seeds need to soak in water overnight. The seeds for a protective gel sack overnight which helps them germinate and stick to the clay.
Once soaked, take your pets out of the water and you can apply your seeds wherever you want green goodness to grow. Until you see green sprouts it helps to keep your pets in a shallow tray of water covered with a bit of cling wrap. More moisture and indirect sunlight will help your pet really take off! It may take a few days, have patience and enjoy!