Monday, July 18, 2016

Ceramics Boot Camp

Before my students had a full choice ceramics project, I wanted them to try out several different techniques so we had a "boot camp".
1. Pinch pots with sgraffito- Students used red clay to make a pinch pot then coated part of it with white slip. We found that it worked best to use a fan brush to apply the slip and to do one stroke with each dip in the slip so that it wouldn't mix with the red clay underneath. When the slip had set up, students scratched or carved designs to reveal the contrasting color underneath. We finished with a clear glaze.
2. Simple Slabs- Students learned the basics of slab construction and slump molds and chose one to try. We found a suggestion on measurements for mugs so those were very popular. 
 One of my advanced students wanted to test image transfer so we round a tutorial that involves painting slip over a laser print. The slip resists the ink. When it dries you can wet the back of the paper with the sponge and use a rib to transfer. It can be a little tricky to get the slip to the right consistency. I'm looking forward to testing this out more next year.
3. Coils. We had a contest to see who could roll the longest coil and I demonstrated how to build with coils. Some left the coils visible and some smoothed the surface.
My advanced students didn't have a boot camp but I asked each of them to make a slab teapot. We followed the steps for a 30 minute slab teapot from Ceramic Arts Daily, but ours took longer than 30 minutes. Most were finished in 2-3 class periods. 

In my next post, I'll share some of the choice projects!

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