Posted by: keepingthemistakes | May 9, 2012

Clay Quickie

We go out to eat about once a month with our small group from church.  We almost always go to a local truck stop for breakfast.  I almost always have a Sausage Quickie.  It’s scrambled eggs with sausage and cheese plus hash browns and toast.  Perfect.  Completely unrelated to my post, except for the title 🙂

End of the year, for me, means clay.  I keep saying I”m going to do clay earlier in the year, at least for some grades, but so far I haven’t done it.  I do clay texture necklaces with Kindergarten in April so they can give them as gifts for Mother’s Day.  I also do mammal sculptures with Second grade because they have a Spring Author’s Tea where they show their power points and work they’ve done on mammals (and read books they’ve written, about various subjects I think).  Anyway, since I do those two grades in the spring I guess I just have done them all.  Next year maybe I will do it differently. It would certainly be less stressful!


I have discovered a couple of new clay techniques.  The first I discovered on Pinterest — it’s making clay bowls and then letting the students put glass marbles in them.  The marbles melt and make a really pretty glass bottom to their bowl!  I loved it.  I am really into things that have an unsure outcome, so it’s exciting to see the final product.  Here are some photos of the end result.  I love them! My first graders made pinch pots and then each added one marble to their pot after they finished glazing.  I got marbles at Wally world, 50 for $1.  They also have them at Dollar General for the same price.

My second discovery was that you can do a bisque/glaze all-in-one firing.  Who knew?  I had never heard of that.  As you can imagine, my waiting until the end of the year to do clay projects has caused me personal stress.  I decided to do slab coasters with stamped radial designs with Fourth Grade this year.  I wanted them to underglaze the designs but wondered how in the world I was going to get that many firings done.  Then I discovered that you can sometimes glaze greenware and do just one firing.  So, I tried it, and it WORKED.  I did a bowl and it was fine, but had some pinholes.  I did a coaster and it was great, so I will be doing it with my classes. I’m going to have them do the underglaze and then I’m going to put the clear glaze on top.  It’s a little scary trying a not completely tested technique with student work, but the one I did worked so well that I figure my clay body/glaze combination must be a good one.  Here’s hoping!  This leaves me with two more firings, which will be cutting it close. I only work at the school that has a kiln 2.5 days a week, although I will be there Friday as a sub, so I plan to do one firing then.

I did another art show today with my second school.  I put all the art up but didn’t make it to the concert that the show was accompanying.  I wanted to, but life got in the way.  I’m proud of all my students and the work they’ve done this year!



  1. So glad you like the melted marble pinch pots! We have been doing them with the second graders for years and they are a huge hit. I am intrigued by your radial design stamp on clay idea….we make eraser stamps every year, and that sounds like a nice extension. Thanks for posting.

    Rina at

  2. I’m surprised about glazing without bisque firing first. What clay body did you use and did you use a regular glaze or something like Mayco Sroke and Coat? I would love to save time with one firing! Please do tell!

  3. We have found the major drawback to doing your bisque and glaze fire at once….if a work has an air bubble and blows or really breaks apart you can end up with tons of pieces of pottery glazed to your kiln shelves, other student’s projects, stilts….it has the potential to not be pretty.

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