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Lesson Plans


Ceramics and Projects Blowing up

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Pat Munce (pdmun)
Tue, 24 Mar 1998 17:27:40 -0800


Dear Art teachers,

I have been teaching ceramics to high school students for over 20 years now.

Here are so dos and don't to spare you grief.

1. Always bisgue fire your projects. No glazed projects in the same load.
If you happen to mix and have a blow up, you have glaze stuck to lots
of stuff. This has always tended to ruin my day if it happened. I
learned.
Rationale: Students like to give you surprises.
a. Not following directions and leaving a big air pocket in their
project.
b. Doing the above on purpose to see what happens.
c. Putting foreign objects inside to melt or explode.

2. Mixing bisque and glazedware is only good for the experienced.

3. Single firing is glazing over greenware then firing it
once. Again, only for the experienced. They need lots of time to
dry out again after glazing.

4. If you are firing thick clay pieces, expect to have at least one
explode. That is why the ceramic supply houses sell needles. If you don't
have one handy in the room, a good substitute is a paper clip opened up and
used to poke holes into the clay.

5. ALWAYS LET THE PROJECTS DRY A WEEK TO PROTECT YOUR KILN. KILNS DO NOT
LAST FOREVER. ITS DARN NEAR IMPOSSIBLE TO GET A NEW ONE OUR OF YOUR
DISTRICT.

6. Use kiln wash on your selves to protect them. I also dip new kiln
posts into the kiln wash the first time I am going to use them in a kiln.
This helps keep the little clay balls you should be placing on each between
shelf and post from sticking to the post. Are you dusting the clay balls
with silica or similar material to keep them from sticking to the shelf?

Good luck.

Pat Munce
Fresno, CA

"Organized peole never know the joy of finding something that was lost forever."

"He who laughs last probably made a back-up."