Thanks, everyone. With regard to the clay, it is air-dry clay, not
ceramic clay. I know all about reconstituting ceramic clay!
The school is based on traditional Islamic principles so I have to be
careful about assignments (you should see the memo regarding cultural
issues and themes to avoid!). Most of the time it's easy (human
figures/portraits are fine) but things like
witches/monsters/mythology/anything vaguely religious have to be
avoided. We'd not be able to cast any body parts above the wrist as the
students wear long sleeves and floor-length tunics year round.