Friday, January 7, 2011

Burnished Whistles - Student Work

Finally some clay pieces. These whistles (yes they actually whistle) were done by my beginning ceramics kids, and I think they turned out really well. They were built with 2 pinch pots scored and paddled together. Then the students were shown how to make them whistle, a very difficult task. Most were able to do it but I always have a few who can't get it to work. After the pieces were almost dried out I gave the kids smooth river rocks and they rubbed and rubbed until the clay had a high scheen. This is called burnishing. It can also be done with the back side of a spoon. The pieces were bisque fired and then loaded into a sawdust fire for their final finish. This finish leaves the clay with white, black and grey markings, a very natural, earthy look. You can see some of that in the piece above done by junior Tiffany Liu.

And above in the far right piece by junior Hanna Woo. Also in Tiffany's and the other pieces shown (except for Hanna's), the kids had the option of rubbing the sawdust finish with creamy, metallic compounds. Tiffany choose a very subtle rubbing in golds, blues and purples, while above top, senior Kevin Pascual did a heavy coating of greens, golds and oranges. Top left whistle belongs to senior John Balagtas with the light coating of gold.

These next pieces above were really exciting, and all so very different. I loved them, and was so happy to see the kids really push themselves into the unknown. Top middle belongs to senior Priyanka Kotak, left is senior David Hwang and right is senior Jesus Calderon. Great job guys!!!

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