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Lesson Plans


RE: cleaning candle wax off of my kiln

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
marianna delafield (mdelafield)
Sun, 21 Feb 1999 17:54:24 -0600


-----Original Message-----
From: Sidnie Miller [SMTP:sidmill.us]
Sent: Sunday, February 21, 1999 1:44 PM
To: MCCon513
Cc: artsednet.edu
Subject: Re: cleaning candle wax off of my kiln

Hi Susan--does sound pretty awful. About the kiln, I'd try to scrape it
off as well as possible--certainly the wax will burn out with a firing
but I would discuss it with your local fire dept?? or someone who is
knowledgable and definitely fire it when the kids are gone. I'd have
a fire extinguisher ready and plan to be around for the whole firing.

During my old hippie days we'd take a cardboard box and fill with damp
beach sand, then carve out a negative mold with our fingers. We set
up the wicks and poured in wax, laying in different stripes of colors.
When it was hard we pulled it from the sand. You could leave it that
way with a sand crust, but we used to torch it off with a propane torch
so that the colors showed (clearly an outside event) They were really
beautiful, sort of biomorphic looking. Use visquine or something under the
boxes in case they leak. Sid

###########################
# Sidnie Miller #
# Elko Junior High School #
# 777 Country Club Drive #
# Elko, NV 89801 #
# 702-738-7236 #
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To try to get the wax off the outside of your kiln, how about candleing it on just the lower ring? It seems to me that if its warm, the wax might just melt enough to wipe off with a dry cloth. I don't know about in the cracks, etc. But does the kiln come apart? maybe you could get between the rings and wipe it, or pull off the excess, if it will slide apart a little. I think its a given that you will have a lot of smoke when it is turned on, but it seems to me that it should just burn off. Is the kiln in your room or a separate room? I'd sure do it after the kids are gone and maybe alert your principal. It may shine that baby up so that it looks like new. (won't work better but it'll look good)
Its only a little while until spring, how about using the wax to make sand cast candles, outdoors? I have also found old electric fry pans at good will and salvation army that reduces the fire danger. You could use school milk cartons and mix sawdust in the melted wax, and do subtractive sculpture from the block form. If you add some broken bits of crayon you can even get a nice color, (and its cheap). The kids can shine with a soft cloth after the sculpture is finished. With the sawdust, the wax is easy to carvewithout coming off in chunks. I like to use sloyd knives for the carving. There aren't many inexpensive and easy to carve materials out there that are appropriate for upper El and higher.
For just regular candles, couldn't just metal juice cans work?
Marianna