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Tips For Organizing Glazes For Class Use?

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#1 longmountainart



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Posted 13 May 2014 - 09:12 AM

I have 2-3 ceramics classes every year in high school.  Typically we do clay for 20-22 weeks of the school year then we do sculptures using many different materials.  My biggest issue is glazes.  I typically just buy class packs of pints because its the most convenient space wise and cost as well.  I have done pouring in the past but that just won't work here; i don't have the space or the initial investment money available.  I do plan to make a minimum grade requirement for glazing to happen next year and that will cut down on the amount of glaze that is wasted but I am going to be going out on maternity leave in october and need to have an efficient procedure in place before I leave.  Currently they are all in a cupboard and students have access.  Space is a huge issue but I have made due.  I am curious how others have structured your glazing area if you teach ceramics classes.  Any tips or ideas would be greatly welcomed.   ALSO!  What do you do with leftover unwanted work??? I have so much every year and I can only pawn it off on teachers so far!

#2 PSC


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Posted 13 May 2014 - 09:30 AM

I teach adults but also have a space issue. My class has a motley collection of donated glazes as there is no budget for actually buying material so i have the added difficulty of odd shaped containers large to small. I just stack nicely as possible and have a couple of rings of glaze test tiles that has a tile for every glaze that is on the shelf so there is no guessing about what a glaze looks like. I tried organizing by color but that didn't stay long.

In college we did a fund raiser with the left behind work and would sell it. The not so great stuff cheaply and the better stuff not as cheap. We'd also invite any current pottery student to sell their work at the sale with 10% of the sale going to the pottery fund raising effort and they kept the rest of the proceeds. If your school doesn't allow that perhaps donating the pots to your areas empty bowl program.

#3 Pres


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Posted 13 May 2014 - 10:46 AM

In the early years, I used all bottled glazes. These were a hassle, but we made do by using filing cabinets. I marked the lids of all incoming glazes with the glaze number and the name with permanent marker. Organized by color, cardboard separators between colors, with the drawers labeled it made it pretty easy to find what you wanted. Before I acquired the military surplus filing cabinets, I stored them in boxes stacked in a corner of the room-each box labeled, colors separated the same way with cardboard. Later I bought dry glazes, and mixed up containers(qt) with lids marked on top and on side. These saved me shipping on water as was in the bottles.

Simply retired teacher, not dead, living the dream. on and on and. . . . on. . . . http://picworkspottery.blogspot.com/

#4 Benzine


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Posted 13 May 2014 - 07:06 PM

Like Pres, I label the bottle lids, with a number, and also label the bottle itself. That way, the right lid gets on the right bottle and someone doesn't accidentally use the wrong glaze, it's happened before. The number corresponds to a glaze tile on a wall mounted board. The glazes are mostly in order by color, but as I've added colors, or removed them, sometimes the new color is in a different color family that the one it replaced. The glaze bottles are on a counter, in front of the tile board, in numerical order, at least that's how they are, when the course begins. I tell the students, that don't bother asking me,mwhere a glaze is. I can only tell them where it is supposed to be. Sometimes a student or two will get annoyed and reorganize them.

Pres, your point about shipping weight makes a lot of sense. However, I get my bottled glazes from Blick and they offer free shipping for schools, most if not all the time. Honestly, the glaze prices aren't too bad....Now the underglaze prices! I'm comptemplating scaling back on those.
"Anything worth believing, is worth questioning"

#5 Pres


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Posted 13 May 2014 - 10:20 PM

Free shipping was a good thing at times, I used it when I could. At the same time, when I moved from ^06 to ^6, there were not a whole lot of suppliers/manufacturers with good glaze colors at that range. Back then, A.R.T. and Minnesota Clay were big players, along with Amaco. I preferred the pricing of the previous two, and their 25# bags of glaze were a good buy. Then as I have said before, cut backs in our budgets meant finding alternatives, and that was to mix my own.


Organizing a studio, for all that happens in it, is overwhelming. At times you wonder what you are doing wrong, and you need to come into the room from a different door so to speak. Actually, that happened to me late one night, walked in, from another door with a different perspective, and ended up rearranging the whole room that night! Glaze test charts coordinated to the glaze containers is a must. As is organizing the containers in such a way that they can be found easily.


As to keeping it organized-I assigned that as one of the cleanup duties every week. These duties were done by tables so that some one at the table would do the job even if there were absentees. I had regular rotating duties of Tables, Sink, Floor, Tools and Glazes. 10 minutes cleanup to start, by end of the Semester down to about 7.

Simply retired teacher, not dead, living the dream. on and on and. . . . on. . . . http://picworkspottery.blogspot.com/

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