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Re: a clay question


From: linda (lwoods_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Tue Mar 19 2002 - 05:49:43 PST

I have been told by teachers and the people who sold me my kiln that
newspaper is damaging to the element wires. In addition to that, it makes
your room and any other rooms that adjoin it via air conditioning ducts,
smell like smoke and it burns your eyes.

I have a project that I do annually with my fifth graders. First they
draw the animal on paper, paying close attention to anatomy and facial
detail. Then they lay a piece of tracing paper on top and they have to
diagram how they will build the animal hollow...which parts will be pinch
pots, which will be coil, where coil would be useful to use as
reinforcement (under legs where they join the body, under wings, rubbing
into the body and the wing, etc.). They continue to diagram what parts
would be slab, how they would put airholes in the body to release the air
so the piece won't have exploding air pockets, and so on. THen they show
me their drawings and I give them some further oral pointers before anyone
touches clay. The day we start with the clay, I demonstrate the proper
way to make a pinch pot, roll a coil, use slip, etc...all reinforcement of
past skills. I also demonstrate how to remove newspaper...just cut a hole
in the body using a knife and carefully remove the paper. Then stick the
same piece back into the body and seal with slip and perhaps a little coil
at the joint, if necessary. I never have a problem. Kids all know what
they are doing before they even start. The results have been amazing, and
nobody had to call the fire department because they smelled smoke of an
unknown origin in the school!
(This has happened to more than one art teacher I know.)