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Re: wedging clay- surface for. . .


Date: Sat Feb 16 2002 - 06:48:28 PST

I have one plaster slab that was at my school when I arrived that was poured
into a wooden box with cut out handles. Maybe a pop or beer carrier. The
benefit of the wooden box is added support and the handles make it a little
easier to move around if needed. I try to have a few pie plates or aluminum
container of some sort any time I mix plaster (regular kind) so that I can
pour the extra into the container for another plaster bat. I recycle any clay
that gets too hard for the kids to use by breaking it into little pieces,
letting it dry out and adding warm/hot water to it. (My janitor gave my
several large buckets that floor cleaning supplies come in. They have handles
and were free.) I keep them under a cabinet and keep the plaster bats on the
counter over it. Put down a cheap plastic table cloth to catch the little
pieces. I scoop out the gooey clay, pile it on the bats, let the water soak
into the plaster and wedge on the largest one.
       I teach high school so it helps the kids to see the process. It also
helps to explain to them that if they don't watch the moisture level of their
clay that this is the process that I have to go through for the clay to be
usable again. Sometimes I suggest to them that they may need to "help me" if
they waste too much clay. But I have also had students volunteer to dig clay
out of the buckets. I call them my mud puppies.
       Hope this helps. Monica