Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Field Trip!

We recently got to take a group of 20 Art Club & National Art Honor Society kids to a really cool place in McKinney for an all day field trip - The Art House. We had a blast - just wish we could have stayed longer.

In this first picture Sona (the awesome lady who started the Art House) is demonstrating working with the clay - talking to the students about making "mini masks" and coil pots.
In this next picture, Colby (a professor from TWU) came do do a demonstration for us. He threw a 25lb. slab of clay and then a 50lb. slab of clay and made really big bowls out of them like it was no big deal - wow! I still struggle with making a 2lb chunk of clay turn into a good bowl or vase.
Here are some of the kids gathered around watching the demonstration - you can see the finished piece still on the potter's wheel.

Here the students are gathered around a table making their mini mask projects and their coil pots, bowls and baskets while some of the others took their turn on the potters wheel - these guys did some super creative stuff.

Outside again, we get to do a raku firing on some of our ceramic pieces. They fire it outside in this special kiln at extremely high temperatures under an open flame for about an hour (normal kiln glaze firing cycles are like 8 hours). Then they take the pieces out using really long metal tongs and put them into metal cans that have combustible materials like grass and newspaper.

When the piece goes in the can we throw some extra newspaper in and it catches on fire. Then we immediately put a lid on it and cover that with a wet towel to smother it. This causes oxidation in the "raku" glazes that are on the ceramic pieces and they come out with fabulous organic, metallic colors. A really cool process to see.

What a great day!!!
Aaaah, if only every week could include Art Field trips.

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