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  1. Failure Is Fine

    My students and I filled our school kiln, and opened a world of mess. Horrible glazes. Horrible pinch pots. Horrible horrible horrible. But, that's what I told my students to expect. I explained that we might see great stuff, but we might see a mess, and that this was part of the learning experience. Every time we make art, we get better. So, we're pinching pots, throwing pots, and preparing glaze.
  2. Teaching Creativity?

    I'm a former high school English teacher (12 years), and am now a high school art teacher (my 5th year). Both in writing and art I have found that everyone can create, but not everyone can be creative. Those creative people, if they can harness their ability, are truly rare and can charge premium prices for their services.
  3. It's the zinc ash as it burned off in the kiln. I know because of past experience/experiment: I fired some galvanized wire mesh with window glass on top and got the exact plumes you did. I only hit 1750 F, but it was still hot enough for the zinc to burn out. I got pictures of it... somewhere. Way cooler than the experiment.
  4. A potter friend of mine said he'd get those metal tin cans you get popcorn during Xmas. He said he filled it with sawdust, greenware, salt, steel wool, whatever, more sawdust, the lid then a kiln shelf on top to hold in all the smoke and trash. He'd put it in his electric kiln and fire around 1100, then let it cool to room temp. He said the cans warped, but the smoke didn't get out and ruin the elements. *Please note: I think my friend may be a crazy crack-head. Not sure I'd try this in my kiln. Still sounds cool.
  5. Thank you so much for your replies. Cone 8 or 08 sounds great to me. I'm (obviously) a newbee potter.
  6. Nope. No supply. It'll probably be coming out of my pocket, by the way.
  7. I'm an art teacher in Arkansas. My school bought a kiln, a Paragon Dragon with a Bartlett controller. In one of my storage closets I found about 1000 pounds of this kind of Cone 10 clay: Dick Blick, Cone 10 Stoneware Clay Item # 30517-1050 I want to make a plain old white glaze, something I can add oxides or crushed glass to and get some interesting results. Does anyone have a glaze formula that would be compatible with the clay? I understand I'm asking a lot, but any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. In years to come, I'll do things differently, but right now I'm using what previous teachers had bought. Thank you. Not trying to be a P.I.T.A., but I have to educate our nation's future leaders. woo...