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Re: [teacherartexchange] Clay questions


From: Gayle Parent (gayleparent_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sun Apr 20 2008 - 09:59:12 PDT

I am from Phoenix, and was fortunate enough to attend a Crizmac class
(check out in Santa Fe a few years ago. We enjoyed
a half day lesson by a Native American mother and son who are well
known potters. Sorry, don't have their names handy. They taught us
how to burnish the clay until it shines as if glazed. It was
amazing. We used smooth river rocks to rub and rub and rub the clay
after it was leather hard. Mine turned out okay, and a little shiny,
but their pieces absolutely looked as if they had been glazed, but
they had not. It would take a very dedicated student to accomplish
that, but they might like to know about it. Seeing that demo helped
me understand why some of the native pottery is so expensive. They
get results that look like they used a wheel and glaze, but it's all
done by hand, and without glaze. It's truly amazing.

On Apr 20, 2008, at 9:03 AM, Jeff Pridie wrote:
> Heidi,
> I have mixed red clay with white clay. I just kneed
> one into the other or I layer slabs together and roll
> them up then cut them and then roll them out again
> flat and you get a unique pattern.
> As far as burnishing I have students use smooth stones
> or spoons, The burnishing makes the unfired clay look
> like leather. You need to do it before it gets bone
> dry it should be done at the leather hard stage. If
> you do it for a whole pot it is very much like the
> pottery process used by southwest native american
> potters. The glaze on a burnished surface looks a bit
> different then on a unburnished piece. I make a
> sample piece for students to evaluate if they want to
> do it or not.
> Jeff (Minnesota)
>> A question on marbling clay. ...How do you do it? I
>> have looked online only
>> to find directions for marbling sculpey.
>> 2nd question...what does burnishing unfired clay
>> sculpture do to it? Will
>> adding a stain be more difficult? Will there be a
>> noticible difference in
>> burnished and unburnished areas? No time to practice
>> before class starts
>> work. Thanks for advice. Heidi in VA
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