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RE: Clay - Air Dry or Kiln? question for Grace

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From: Grace Hall (Grace_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sun Aug 31 2003 - 16:23:05 PDT


Hi Dale,
Low fire clay requires a kiln, which I am fortunate to have in my
classroom. I have however also tried oven fired clay, using my home
oven. As long as you make small pieces with no appendiges, they do ok.
But I didn't have 650 pieces to fire either. Sorry I don't remember
which product I used, but it was white.

With 650 students, you're going to have to teach this in shifts. You
can't have room for 650 clay pieces to sit around and dry??? If you do,
then you must teach in Heaven...because I do believe in such places.
But planning where student works will sit undisturbed for a week or so
is important to the success of the project. With oven dry clay I do not
recommend attaching pieces together, students will have more success if
there is nothing to fall off. I found that pinch pots were good forms
for students to create, and we'd connect it to Native American pottery
artifacts that we have at our local museum.

If you ever buy a kiln, get a big one to fire as much as possible at
once. There are plenty of good ones to choose from. Paragon, and Skutt
are well known products.

Hope I havn't confused you more than helped.
Grace

-----Original Message-----
From: Dale S [mailto:golddust_55@hotmail.com]
Sent: Sunday, August 31, 2003 5:12 PM
To: ArtsEdNet Talk
Subject: RE: Clay - Air Dry or Kiln? question for Grace

Grace,

I am also looking for an alternative to kiln fired clay. We are
temporarily
in a new building without a kiln while our school is being renovated.
(Next
year I will have a kiln and that will be another learning process.) This
is
my first year teaching and I am scrambling to decide what to use so I
can do
lesson plans and budget for it. I've got about 650 students from K-8.

You said
>Dick Blick offers great clay for low fire, and they
>make it fairly simple to choose. The clay I've ordered from them comes
>in blocks of 25lbs. I've had great success with it.

I looked in Dick Blick and found these two products listed as low fire
clay.
Are these the clays you are referring to?
Della Robbia Oven Bake Clay
Laguna Ovencraft Clay

If so, here are a couple of questions I had. I was wondering what kind
of
projects you did with these and how much clay you planned per student?

Also what oven did you use? Home or school? Do they emit fumes while
baking?

If not, do you know specifically which product you used? There are so
many
products listed there!

Dale S.

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