The Kiln

This past weekend, I attended several workshops on working with clay. Specifically, how it relates to teaching clay projects in an elementary classroom. The schools where we live now do not have art teachers in the schools. Instead, they solicit parent volunteers to act as “Art Docents” to provide art “classes” in the elementary schools. Personally, I think it is tragic that there aren’t art teachers. I mean, really?!?! Especially, coming from a place where there have always been (and hopefully always will be) art teachers (and music, library, and P.E. teachers as well).

Anyway, I learned the basics of clay. I learned some projects aimed at K-2 students (or those with little to zero experience with clay). I learned some projects and more advanced techniques aimed at the 3-5 (and beyond) students. Lastly, I learned a lot about glazes.

The entire weekend was fun. I learned about everything, but the fun part was playing with the clay and making all of those projects myself. Now, my dining room table is covered (well, about 1/3 of it) with my clay sculptures and such, drying. The discussion on glazes was interesting. While I’ve done ceramics and used glazes, I’ve never had to pay attention to what I’ve purchased in terms of matching the type of clay to the type of glazes before. I merely had to decide on the color and sheen that I wanted to use for a particular piece. I’ve also never made the object myself, but started out with greenware (usually from a poured mold). I’m looking forward to the clay being dry so it can be fired, then glazed, then fired and done!!!

In the meantime, today, I loaded the school kiln with a project that Phoebe’s class has been working on and started it going (with another Art Docent’s guidance). It was easy, really. I’ll find out how everything came out when we unload it on Friday!


Hello November!

November 1st is here and is mostly a welcome sight.

The hoopla with Halloween is essentially over, except for the huge amounts of candy still floating about. I helped out during Phoebe’s classroom “Harvest Celebration.” (Why can’t we just call it a Halloween party when that is exactly what it was–costumes, jack-o-lantern decorating and all?!?) Later, we had a great time trick or treating with Phoebe’s friend from school and her mom while Alex and Ray stayed home and greeted the six kids that came trick or treating to our place.

November 1st also means that the holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s and everything in between) are fast approaching. It very likely also means yet another big holiday away from my friends and family. I miss them something fierce and it’s already been over 14 months since I’ve seen them.

Aside from all of that, you may wonder why I am here…at this new place. Well… as it turns out the place where my site is actually hosted is down for the foreseeable future, unfortunately. There was a hardware failure of some sort. The problem with that is it is located somewhere near(ish) to our home in Michigan. A daunting 2,300-ish miles away from our present location in Washington. Not quite a “I’ll run over to the place and see what’s up” kind of jaunt. Anyhow… until that is resolved (and, I do hope it does get resolved), I will be writing here. The timing was just ever so lovely to be two days before NaBloPoMo was to begin!