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Re: Clay Management Needed!

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From: Susan Holland (Susan_Holland_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Mon Nov 19 2001 - 14:42:41 PST


A good book to review all your clay knowledge is Cathy Weisman Topal's
"Children, Clay and Sculpture" ISBN 0-87192-145-6
It is tricky to store clay work for multiple classes. If you don't have enough
shelf space, maybe you can get hold of a bread rack. Plastic grocery bags are
good for storing kids projects when you don't want them to dry out between
classes. I have kids put the clay piece on a piece of corrugated cardboard,
drape wet paper towels over it and then put it in the grocery bag and tie the
bag shut. When you are ready to let the pieces dry, it's good to dry them
slowly so they aren't as likely to crack. I have the finished pieces stay in
the plastic bags- but leave out the wet towels and leave the bag untied- until
the pieces dry a bit. When they have started to show color change, I will
leave them out of the bags to dry.
I suggest you think small to start with- small pinched and pulled animals,
small textured tiles, clay medallions to make into necklaces...pinch pots. You
don't have to fire everything! You might spend some classes just exploring the
clay, building, and watching how it changes as it dries. Let kids learn what
works and doesn't work- what holds together, what happens if you overwork the
clay and get it too dried out- before they make something to fire.
I have students write down the rules and take a clay pledge before they ever
get clay, and I have an alternative writing assignment ready for anyone who
can't handle clay with appropriate behavior.
Have fun!

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