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In cases where the greenware is accessible, I've let them know ahead of
time that greenware is extremely fragile; they may handle their own work
at their own risk; if they break their project, they lose that grade; if
they break someone else's, they cannot be in the class until the ceramics
unit is over.
I think the best policy is: "Out of sight, out of mind (and hands)." I'm
lucky to have storage I can lock the greenware in. Students--even my
HSers--don't usually have the coordination or care it takes to handle
greenware. Try to set aside an area that would be hard for them to get
to (tops of cabinets?) to store the greenware 'til ready for firing. You
could set the pieces in boxes that would hide them from view and still
make it easy for you to retrieve them.
Hope this helps.