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Re: [teacherartexchange] Ceramic Room Tips- long post

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From: Maggie White (mwhiteaz_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Tue Jul 25 2006 - 14:28:19 PDT


StacieMich@aol.com wrote:

>I plan on making some plaster molds for
>recycling the clay, but I hadn't thought of making little ones for the
>students. <snip>
>
Molds? Or bats for wedging?

> I
>was trying to think of a way to assign chores. I like your system. how do you
>break them up...tool collection, clay collection, wiping down tables...things
>like that? Or should I have them work as teams at their tables and have them
>rotate? Did you ever teach the wheel? I'm thinking of only doing a few weeks
>of it because it's so messy, and I'm not very good at it...maybe having one
>of the members from the league come in to do a demo. I think that I should
>focus more on handbuilding projects.
>
The poster I made had chores like Tools (collecting and cleaning);
Counters; Bats/Wedging table; Sink; Floor. Two people were assigned to
each chore. Those who did not have chores assigned had to clean their
own tables. It would take a couple of weeks to run them all through the
different chores and I had to closely monitor and coach them to do it
right; sink and floor had to wait 'til the other chores were done.
Wheelies had to clean the wheel they used. I never actually washed the
canvas pieces; the students could shake them out outside. I could throw
a reasonable-looking pot, but the students were really wowed when the
FOOTBALL coach came to do a demo. That's right; he'd taken a lot of
ceramics in college--and more recently than I--and was always willing to
come and in show the kids. I think they were thinking, "Well, of course
Ms. White can do it good; but Coach ROCK?! If he can do it, so can I!"
Don't worry about not being a great thrower. You still know more than
your students. You know the basics of centering, opening, and pulling
up walls and you can coach them how to do it right. I did
hand-over-hand with them so they could feel how much pressure to use.
Let them keep their first pot, no matter how awkward (as long as you can
cut it from the wheelhead), then insist on a better one for their next.
I found a very good little book with good illustrations that the
students could look at called Throwing Pots, by Phil Rogers, published
by A&C Black. I got it from Sheffield Pottery.

Start collecting lots of cleaning rags; a friend gave me a whole bunch
of towels used for surgery (no, they weren't bloodstained) that held up
forever. I used to wash them, along with the aprons, in the machines
used by the P.E. dept. and janitors. If you belong to Costco you can
buy a big bag of pink "shop towels" so you always have a supply of clean
ones. They bleed like crazy the first time you wash them, so be careful.

Maggie

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