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Re: [teacherartexchange] clay


From: Gayle Parent (gayleparent_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Mon Apr 21 2008 - 17:42:01 PDT

Cindy and San, thank you for your detailed responses. I work in a
district with many art teachers, but a fine arts coordinator who
never gets us together, so opportunities for learning from the other
teachers have to be self created, and I think sometimes they just
don't want to spend the extra time.
Thank you!

On Apr 21, 2008, at 4:01 PM, familyerickson wrote:
> Gayle,
> I am sure Marvin has some recycling ideas on his website but here
> is what I
> do. I dumped all the cracked vases into 2 large dishpans, filled
> them with
> water just enough to cover and let them sit out until they made mush
> (about 3
> days). After school I grab handfuls of it and plop it onto a big
> sheet of
> thick vinyl that I lay on the floor. I bought the vinyl at a
> garage sale
> but you could also use canvas or even a thick vinyl tablecloth.
> It looks
> like a cow has come into my room and left many souveneirs. Then
> I put the
> vinyl in front of my box fan that I have in my room because it is
> always so
> hot. I babysit each lump until it is dry enough to wedge but not
> too dry.
> I then wedge each lump and put them back into a big double thick
> plastic
> bag. Voila! Ready to go again! It's a lot of work but necessary
> sometimes. And after all that plopping and wedging you don't have
> to go to
> the gym that day! So, I guess I do it pretty much like your college
> teacher but I keep it compact into the dishpans until I'm ready to
> deal with
> it and then do it all in one afternoon so that I don't have to use
> a table
> or space I don't have. If you are particularly busy you can keep
> adding
> water to the dishpans as it evaporates until you have a day you can
> deal
> with it.
> Cindy
> PS This is only for firing clay --air dry clay does not recycle
> ----at
> least I don't know how to recycle it - does anyone else??
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Gayle Parent []
> Sent: Sunday, April 20, 2008 11:34 AM
> To: TeacherArtExchange Discussion Group
> Subject: Re: [teacherartexchange] air dry clay
> Cindy, you just mentioned recycling the clay. I am a new art teacher
> and I'm not sure what that means. Do you mean you went through the
> whole process of rewetting, then spreading the wet clay on a table,
> then rewedging it? I remember seeing my college art teacher do that
> (small department), but she had canvas covered tables for that
> purpose. If I cover a table with canvas, then it will be somewhat
> difficult to use it for other purposes, so I'm a little reluctant to
> do that. What is your process for recycling the clay?
> Thanks!
> Gayle
> On Apr 19, 2008, at 5:39 PM, familyerickson wrote:
>> Marcia,
>> Amaco comes in white, gray or terracotta which are nice choices
>> depending on
>> what you are doing.
>> 1/2 inch thick doesn't sound too thin to me. More likely the
>> piece just
>> dried too quickly or dried unevenly. Try drying them all more
>> slowly by
>> placing wet paper towels on top of each and then laying a large
>> trash bag
>> over the whole table or shelf full. This seems to slow the drying
>> process
>> a little. If I am being really careful I will rewet the paper
>> towels the
>> next day by spraying them all with a spritz bottle. Each day I
>> spritz a
>> little less and make them dry out over a weeks time. When we do
>> animals I
>> wrap small appendages with wet paper towels and try to dry them
>> more slowly
>> than the body of the piece. This seems to help although I
>> occassionally
>> have tails break off etc. Another teacher recommended Gorilla
>> Glue for
>> glueing on pieces after they have been fired and it worked well for
>> my fired
>> pieces. I have never tried it with air dried pieces. E6000 works
>> good too
>> but it's so messy and tends to dry out in the tube, at least for
>> me. I
>> like model magic too but I agree with you about the details--it's
>> really
>> hard to get details and it dries out a little too fast for my
>> liking. Cool
>> tip about the elmers for slip though.
>> I always have good luck with my 2nd grade pocket vases (using fired
>> clay)
>> but this year I had 60 2nd graders make them and I left them out
>> to dry and
>> that night some weird front came through and the temperature
>> dropped 30
>> degrees and for the first time ever almost half of the vases
>> cracked so we
>> had to recycle all the clay and start over.
>> Maybe you have some weird weather? Global warming????
>> Cindy
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: marcia []
>> Sent: Saturday, April 19, 2008 11:17 AM
>> To: TeacherArtExchange Discussion Group
>> Subject: re:[teacherartexchange] air dry clay
>> Thanks for your suggestions. I have used model magic
>> before but I find for certain things it doesn't show
>> details as well. I have not tried Amaco air dry clay
>> so I will give it a shot.
>> We were making small African mask models and we used
>> different types of air dry clay and almost all of them
>> cracked in half. They were about 1/2 inch thick,
>> which may have been too thin? I've also just tried
>> using the clay to make animal figurines, with those
>> cracking as well.
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