Ceramics electives have made barrels and work with form and function

Ceramics are a material and a technique that is over 30 years old. Here at school we use white earthenware clay to make different products. We have our own ceramics workshop with work table, ceramic oven, different glazes and a number of different tools. Students learn the four basic techniques in the subject:

  • Pinch / thumb technique
  • Sculpture
  • Coiling / sausage technique
  • Plate technology

The first hour of January, the students made a dish. To make the barrels, we used plate technique, which means that we roll out clay in even thickness before we cut out the desired shape. This time, everyone cut out the shape according to the template of the leaf on a monster plant.

After the mold is finished molding, it must dry for a week or more. Clay must be completely dry before burning it in the oven, otherwise it can be damaged. It is important that the clay has a relatively equal thickness over the entire product because it shrinks slightly when it dries and moisture leaves the clay. If one part is thinner and another thicker, then the thinnest part will dry first and maybe break off.

Then the product is burned in the oven. Then clay is burned at 960 degrees Celsius. This is called raw fire. Then the products come out of the oven and have become both completely hard and the color has gone from light gray to completely white. It is now ready to be glazed.

Here at school, we make the most use of dipping glazes. This is the color and surface treatment we apply to the products. Then you have to stir the bucket well with icing, check the flow rate (instrument to see that there is the right amount of water and icing powder), hold the product with pliers and dip it down. Then you have to remove the icing on the underside so that it does not burn into the oven. When we burn products with glaze, this is called glaze fire and then we burn at 1020 degrees Celsius.

This week, the students are working on a task that involves make something they need in their future home. It should be both functional and have a shape that is aesthetic pleading to watch. Form and function, hand in hand.

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