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The first ceramics projects are finally out of the kilns!

These are pinch pot animals with three add-ons (attached clay details), two areas of texture, and underglaze (clay the consistency of slippery mud with pigment in it).  Once fired, they get dipped into the green overglaze, which then turns into clear liquid glass in the kiln, making the clay waterproof and shiny.

Before and after the final firing.

It seems as though it has taken a really long time to see the final pieces but that is how ceramics is.  Building, modifying, detailing, drying, underglazing, firing, and glazing.  Even though only the first pieces are done, the second projects are being fired in a few days, so there will be time for six or seven projects in the semester.  Each one builds on the skills learned in the one before.  By the time this semester is over, the students will be able to use all four hand-building techniques and those who go on to take advanced ceramics will learn how to throw clay on the potter’s wheel.  No easy task for relative beginners.

It takes organization and planning to make it work.  My mentor teacher is fabulous in that way, she is methodical in her approach to the skills students are learning and flexible in how those skills are learned.  She has several projects this year that are either new or have been modified from last year.  Students who take ceramics this year will not do the same old thing that students did two years ago.  It keeps the classes fresh for the teacher as well as the student.  One student happened to come by when these pieces were just out of the kiln and she literally squealed with delight when she saw them.  I love art classes.

~ by anitawesto on October 14, 2012.

ceramics, teaching