Persistence Pays Off...

The grade 11 and 12 art students tackled some pretty tough material:  clay.  ...and not just any clay: OLD CLAY.  Over the years, our collection of 'bits & pieces' of dried clay has accumulated, so Mrs. Rose made the decision to do a bit of recycling.  The process was labour-intensive, but the students learned quite a bit about the plight of real potters (who would need to recycle their own clay).

After the dry clay was broken into little bits and soaked overnight, we began the process of straining, drying and kneading the clay until it became workable.  This sounds rather easy, but we had to be quite diligent to produce enough clay for the class!  (it smelled pretty bad too)

The class then began forming their mugs, which could be made using one of many techniques:

  • coil method 
  • slab technique
  • working on the potter's wheel
  • subtractive method
The nice thing about making mugs is having the opportunity to discuss form vs. function.  These pieces would need to be functional, but they could still be designed to be aesthetically pleasing.

Our bisque firing finished this morning, so it was exciting to open the kiln and check to see if our mugs made it through this crucial step (we were worried about possible clay explosions since we had done so much recycling):

So far, so good!  Today we glazed most of our pieces and started another firing.  We can't wait to see the final products!


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