I do all of the things you mentioned; put the thick piece on the
bottom or at least it's own shelf, let it dry a really long time, add my
own holes through the bottom, etc. However, I have not let them clean
out the kiln because it's too deep for the little pipsqueaks to reach
the bottom, lol. Maybe I could at least make them watch me! I could
let them vacuum out the sides. I love logical consequences and also do
not like to use any part of art as punishment. ANd besides that, some
people LOVE to wedge clay, or untangle thread, or clean, or organize, or
pull staples out of a wall, or test markers, or whatever. I like to
take advantage of the kids who want to do the jobs that need doing.
There's always someone who will do it.
Visit our student's web art gallery at St.John's School
click on "Stories of SJS," click on "Arts Stories," click on Linda
Woods' name. View artwork by Lower, and Middle School students as well
as our art archives.