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Re:[teacherartexchange] Need Help With Ceramics (glazing)


From: leah from work (leah_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Fri Feb 09 2007 - 08:34:46 PST

Wow - THANKS TIM... you should be an Art Teacher! <g>

I appreciate your very thorough response. It helps me to understand more
about the process. I have a very limited budget and it is only because of
the very generous work of one of our fund raising parents that we get to use
this wonderful clay and then glaze it.

Judy had graciously emailed me ASAP to let me know I was not in the danger
zone, but it feels so good to know you're all out there - especially when I
tread into new territory!

I really would not want to mess this up - the end result will be another
fund raising activity in April - a Southwestern themed chili cook-off - with
and "empty bowl" auction.... the bowls of course are to be made by my
students and sold back to their parents!

All of this is in my spare time, between teaching, being a "student teacher"
creating my work sample and my own "teaching portfolio." I sort of wish I'd
chosen this for my work sample - as kids doing clay can be very photogenic -
and last week when I was being observed by my principal - I had one of my
ELS kids teach her how to make a flower bowl from a slab...

Now that was a Kodak moment! Of course, I am not sure I want to take out
the digi-camera when I am up to my elbows in clay!

I am now "counting the days" as this school year wraps up - I have been at
the charter school for 6 years now, and upon completing this semester I will
be certified to teach anywhere in Colorado - I am visualizing myself
teaching in a school with a great staff, wonderful leadership, and an
artroom that is bigger than 16' x 18.' I need to be really careful what I
visualize - I don't want to leave out something important!

Conjuring in Colorado!


----- Original Message -----
From: "Tim Reed" <>
Sent: Thursday, February 08, 2007 9:26 AM
Subject: Re: Need Help With Ceramics (glazing)

> Hi Leah... no need to feel stupid about these things! As with
> all things, CONTEXT is everything. And so when the subject of
> "clear glaze" is mentioned, it is only in the context of
> applying it whenever NO OTHER glaze is present. In other words,
> if you are planning to use another type of glaze with colors or
> other visual qualities, then there's no necessity for applying a
> clear glaze over the top of it all.
> The only reason to use a clear glaze is either for protective
> purposes, in regards to the clay or "underglaze" surface, or for
> ensuring that clay work ends up with a slight sheen or bright
> glossy finish.
> Especially with low-fire clay work, that low-fire clay will
> generally STILL be fairly porous, even after the final firing.
> If that clay surface has not been sealed with some kind of
> protective barrier, then those pores can easily collect grease
> and dirt from simply handling or even after sitting on an
> exposed shelf for a while. Therefore, even if you simply wanted
> the bare clay to show without any other decoration at all, you
> still would be wise to put a clear glaze over it in order to
> protect it from outside influences (clear glazes can come as a
> shiny gloss, semi-gloss or even dull matt surface).
> "Underglazes" are not actually "glazes" at all, but are
> basically somewhere in between a clay and a glaze. It's good to
> understand that underglazes are DESIGNED to stay porous at
> low-fire temperatures, and for that reason should always be
> covered with a clear glaze to protect them. I say "should" there
> only because of it's practicality, not because it MUST be done.
> In fact, sometimes you can get some pretty cool visual and
> tactile things going on by leaving them purposefully uncovered
> (for instance, the Spectrum "Velvet" series of underglazes is
> designed especially for such purposes).
> So, I hope this helps you understand WHEN and WHY a clear glaze
> would ever be used. Good luck on your projects!
> Tim
>> Subject: Re: Need Help With Ceramics (glazing)
>> From: "leah from work" <>
>> Date: Wed, 7 Feb 2007 13:35:36 -0600
>> .... and she forgot to use the clear glaze on top,
>> Okay - so lest I feel really stupid, I am about to have kids
>> to glazes for the first time myself, AND- whenever I have
>> glazed we dipped pots in huge buckets of glaze....
>> so - here is my question: WHAT CLEAR GLAZE? Will it still
>> come out shiny with out it (Since I've spent my whole budget
>> and don't have any?
>> WHAAAAAAAAAA - I thought I was so on top of this!
>> -Leah

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