I just thought--if you don't have a real kiln, why don't you do a pit firing??? Where do you live? Can you find
cow pies?? We just made a whilstle, burnished it Maria Martinez style and fired it in a pit. It's a great experience for everyone and just requires dirt and a rock and some sticks and cow pies.
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Ahead of time, it helps to make up some small clay slabs with the
different glazes you will be using so that the students will know how the
glazes look after firing. Catalog images don't always help. I scratched in
the glaze name and number on the back of the clay, then after firing, I
glued all the samples to a poster board with the information.
I taught K-5 and I trained a group of students to be my "apprentices"
for loading and unloading the kiln. My custodians were wonderful for getting
it started in the morning and checking it at night. Also, each class, K-5,
had a "field trip" to the boiler room to see the kiln. I showed them the
kiln "furniture" and how the cone sitter worked, etc., and provided
vocabulary sheets for reference. Chilren love it when you provide "behind
the scenes" experiences for them.
Ann-on-y-mouse in Columbus
Art teacher, K-5, retired