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It’s a dirty job and I get to do it.

“It’s just dirt,” my mentor teacher reminds the students when they look aghast at their clay covered hands “really clean dirt”.  Ceramics class is probably the messiest of the art classes, right now anyway.  Students have finished building their first projects.  They have built their clay form and smoothed the surfaces.  Under-glaze, has been applied, the first firing has happened in the kilns (which are not as difficult to run as I expected), and now it is time for over-glaze; that Oobleck-like green goo that they must dip their beautifully painted projects into.  The over-glaze will no longer be green once it is fired.  The teacher assures them that firing will create a lovely, clear, glass finish for the student pieces, most of which I think will be kept or given to someone very special.  Over the summer, the over-glaze has settled.  The only way to make it usable is to stir it up by hand, my hand in this case.  

Once dipped, the projects are all a chalky green color and every detail, every nuance of painted under-glaze is hidden.  The students are a bit hesitant to dip, believing the teacher but not quite.  I can’t wait to see their faces when those projects come out of the kiln.  They will be thrilled.  They will want to get their hands in more of that lovely clean dirt and make something wonderful.

Oobleck: A green slime that takes over in the 1949 children’s book Bartholemew and the Oobleck by Dr. Suess

~ by anitawesto on October 7, 2012.

ceramics, teaching