There are many different times that you can burnish your ware. Most people
only do it at the leatherhard stage but the highest polish occurs only when
the piece is burnished when it is dry. That is when potters produce the
mirror finish gloss. Most people only watch potters polish their work at
the leatherhard stage.
I have taught burnishing on dry ware to adults and teens. It's definitely
not something one would do with younger students because it is so easy to
break bone dry ware. That method is way to frustrating for elementary age
students, who need to have some success with their pots. Adults and some
teens are able to loose a piece now and again to the mishandling of dry ware.
If the pots are wrapped in plastic, waiting a week won't be a problem. They
should be leatherhard by that time. You can always unwrap them the day
before if you are working with really wet clay and they'll stiffen up
enough for the burnishing process.
I have taught burnishing on leather hard pots to elementary students but
it's hard to do with a large class. So depending on your class size and
your energy level, the students overall skill level, it may be easier to
just have them paint the work with an engobe or underglaze and then put a
clear glaze or polish on the top of this.
>At 10:59 PM 11/17/2004 -0500, you wrote:
>I have a question
> >for Numo. You say, "When I have shown that age level
> >burnishing I just do the leather hard burnish." Could you please explain
> >what you mean by the leather hard burnish? Do you do it or have you let
> >students as young as 3rd grade do it?
> > thanks, Jeryl