Posted by: keepingthemistakes | May 11, 2013

This week — the agony of defeat to the thrill of victory!

This was a full art week, and it started last Saturday, with this:
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It was awful. It ruined my whole weekend, and I was scrambling . . . what am I going to do for those 25 kiddos whose pots were no longer pots? And what happened, and why? I got some air dry clay and decided that everyone would paint their pinch pots instead of glaze them. I had promised them we would melt a marble in their pot, so I promised them we would do that at the beginning of the year next year. I had huge apprehensions about air dry clay, but I’ve done the remakes with one class and it worked really well. So, all is well on the first grade pinch pot front, after much dismay. I still have to TELL two classes (5 students from each class) about it on Monday, though 😦

I have analyzed that probably the pots weren’t dry enough. They had dried long enough, from previous experience, but humidity has been high this spring. I needed to fire BIG, THICK sculptures on Monday — wanted to glaze them on Tuesday. On advice from other art teachers, I did a process called “candling” to (hopefully) assure no explosions. The process is heating up the kiln to 180-200 degrees and then holding it at that temp for 12-24 hours before doing the regular firing. That set me back a day and made it so we won’t have time to glaze the mammal sculptures – they will have to be painted as well. But, it was well worth it because there were NO CASUALTIES in that firing. And let me tell you, they were really, really thick!
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Finally, the Kindergarten Mother’s Day necklaces made it through the fateful pinch pot firing unscathed, I rearranged schedules so they would be able to glaze, and did a glaze firing on Thursday. I had to go in on Friday (my day off) morning to put the cords on the necklaces and give them to the classrooms, but they got them in time for Mother’s Day, which was the goal. I love the necklace cording in rainbow colors, but I need to coordinate my glazes so they match the cording. Not sure what I was thinking, but at least they are bright 🙂
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Another highlight to my week was receiving this
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A nice reminder about why I do this every day — helping these kiddos grow, in one way or another. I strive for that, anyway, (as all of the teachers I know do) and hopefully succeed at least part of the time!

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