Thursday, September 16, 2010

Burnished Whistles - Student Work

These closed pinch forms were so challenging because the kids had to make their pieces whistle. I think all of them were able to do it after much coaching from me as well as each other. But sadly there are always a few who can't make it happen. There are so many new techniques learned in this assignment, it's about working in a non-objective subject matter, putting 2 pinch bowls together and then paddling out a pleasing form, as well as getting it to whistle. As the clay become leather hard and bone dry, the kids rub the forms with a stone or spoon until they have a high gloss finish which is the burnishing process. Then they are bisqued and put into a sawdust firing where the carbon gets into the clay surface and leaves cool markings. After coming out of this firing they wash off the ashes and rub the surface with metallic compounds, creating highly interesting surfaces. See the close-up below that was made by senior Esther Lee. The 3 above were made by seniors Vanessa Mansilla, Nicholas Fernando and Eugene Kim, all graduates of 2010.

1 comment:

  1. I've tried three different times to create whistles with my ceramic students. They always look great, but never whistle.
    Do you have any tips for the whistling part?