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> From: pdmun[SMTP:pdmun]
> Sent: Tuesday, March 24, 1998 8:27 PM
> To: artsednet.edu
> Subject: Ceramics and Projects Blowing up
> 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
> If you happen to mix and have a blow up, you have glaze stuck to
> of stuff. This has always tended to ruin my day if it happened. I
> Rationale: Students like to give you surprises.
> a. Not following directions and leaving a big air pocket in
> 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
> 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
> LAST FOREVER. ITS DARN NEAR IMPOSSIBLE TO GET A NEW ONE OUR OF YOUR
> 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
> This helps keep the little clay balls you should be placing on each
> shelf and post from sticking to the post. Are you dusting the clay
> with silica or similar material to keep them from sticking to the
> Good luck.
> Pat Munce
> Fresno, CA
> "Organized peole never know the joy of finding something that was lost
> "He who laughs last probably made a back-up."