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Member Since 08 Sep 2012
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 09:46 PM

#77976 I'll Never Be A Real Potter.

Posted by Benzine on 24 March 2015 - 10:10 PM

I guess some artists are not real painters either because they don't make their own paints?



Dang right they aren't!  They are also not real painters, if they don't weave their own linen for canvases, hunt down animals, to shave for brush bristles and chop down their own trees to make canvas stretches and brush handles.


And don't get me started on so called "Potters", who don't mine their own clay and glaze materials...

#77906 Any Experince Teaching Those With Special Needs ?

Posted by Benzine on 23 March 2015 - 05:23 PM

I have had plenty of experience, with special needs students, in my class.  The biggest problem is, that it's difficult to plan for, in advance.  Each student will be a little different, in terms of what they are capable of, and what they are comfortable with.  For instance, I once had a student with Autism.  With two-dimensional work, he was quite good.  He could focus very well, and had an eye for detail.  When it came to three-dimensional work, he also did pretty well.  Both myself and his Special Ed instructor, were not sure how he would do with clay, but overall there were no issues.  I wasn't going to have him try the potter's wheel, but his aid told me, he wanted to give it a shot.  Less than five minutes in, he wanted no more of that.  So he was just excused from that project.


I've also had a couple students with Down's syndrome, who needed one on one, a lot of the time.  Sadly, the Special Ed room, didn't always send an Associate with them.  As it turns out, I either had a student helper those times, or some of the other classmates, were nice enough to help the student out.  It was all worth it though, as the special needs students were always so happy, seeing their projects come out.  


I did have at least one time, where the student had a fairly profound disability (in a motorized chair, non-verbal, limited arm movement).  In cases like that, they are there mostly for the socialization with the other students.  Because clay is too messy, in those situations, I have purchased, or had the Special Ed department, purchase Play-Doh or Silly Putty.  That way the student is still getting that tactile sensation, without getting everywhere.


Generally, I just have the special needs students, do as many of my standard projects as possible (pinch, slab, coil).  But some things will be more difficult, if it is a whole class of special needs students, as opposed to just a few mixed in with the general study population.  


I would suggest making general plans, because things will change, once you figure out how much the campers can do.  I would also inquire, to see how many helpers, aids, etc you'll have with you.  Because you will need all the help you can get, to make sure the campers get the most out of the experience. 

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#77593 Covering Greenware After Attachments

Posted by Benzine on 18 March 2015 - 12:35 PM

In my classroom, I generally have students partially cover pieces, when they have recently attached something.  With that said, if it's earlier in the term, we play it safe and cover things.  However, if it's the last day to work with wet clay, no cover, and it gets put on a vent to try!  


The clay body is usually forgiving enough, that we can get away with it.  Usually the only issue, is when students try to attach wet clay, to dry leatherhard clay... or even bone dry...  I tell them this won't work, but what do I know?

#77377 Planning A Glaze Kiln Load - How Much Planning?

Posted by Benzine on 14 March 2015 - 07:57 PM

I've changed my specifications, for student projects, so I can fit them in the kiln more efficiently.  


Also, I sometime, rarely but sometimes, will stack glazeware.  I do low fire, in my class, so I just use the stilts with the pins, one facing down, the other facing up.  I don't do this often, and never on anything that would require a really smooth surface.  But there are times, where it does help.

#76974 How Are You Surviving This Winter Season?

Posted by Benzine on 08 March 2015 - 07:55 PM

Every day this week, is projected to be in the 50s or 60s, with lows around freezing.  I am fine with that.  I have been "done" with winter, for weeks.

#76782 Shortage Because Of The Weather Up North

Posted by Benzine on 04 March 2015 - 06:12 PM

None of that "Pampered" clay for you Pres!

#76569 Kiln In The Garage?

Posted by Benzine on 02 March 2015 - 08:19 AM

I'm sorry to hear about the latest series of events. I hope for a reversal in your fortunes very soon.

In regards to the kiln. The only issue, I've heard, is that computer controlled kilns, don't like the cold. So people, who use them, have to heat the controller before it will operate. They usually just use a small space heater, until it warms up. Once the kiln gets going, the heat from the firing, keeps it warm enough.
For kiln sitters and such, the only limit to how cold it will operate, is all dependent on how much cold the operator can take.

#76394 Best Domestic Alternative To Drying Cabinet?

Posted by Benzine on 28 February 2015 - 08:45 AM

To control drying, I just lay plastic bags over the top.  If you want them to dry slower, wrap the bags tightly and seal them.  If you want them to dry a bit quicker, have the bags a bit looser, and leave them partially open.

#76377 Brent Wheel Chirpping

Posted by Benzine on 27 February 2015 - 10:28 PM

Ceramics, where you talk to pots, and the wheels talk back...

#76335 Brent Wheel Chirpping

Posted by Benzine on 27 February 2015 - 04:04 PM

I've been meaning to ask this question for a while, and now a dedicated place to do so!

Lately, my Brent ie wheel, makes a chirping sound, after it's been running a while. Any ideas, as to the cause, and how to address it?

Also FIRST!!!!!

#76010 *gasp* Handle Sacrilege!

Posted by Benzine on 23 February 2015 - 08:12 PM

you can almost describe pulling as linear throwing.


That's essentially how I explain it to my students.


Also, another reason I enjoy pulled handles, is because I get to demonstrate it straight-faced, to a group of teenagers, while watching them try to not laugh...

#75347 What's The Most Risque Out There Thing You've Done In Clay.....

Posted by Benzine on 12 February 2015 - 06:42 PM

 He also once heated a large rock in a rake kiln, pulled it out red hot then smashed it with a sledge hammer. I have no idea what the point of that was.



Was there a photographer there?  If so, the purpose was that he was making a Heavy Metal album cover...


I've never done anything terribly risque.  Some of my sculptures have had small attachment points, and intricate pieces, but that's about it.  

#74995 Trouble With Closed Lidded Forms

Posted by Benzine on 07 February 2015 - 07:40 PM

Lovely piece Dana. If the Community Challenge is ever "Aquatic", "Liquid", "Waves" or something of the like, you are already set...

#74939 Community Challenge #1

Posted by Benzine on 06 February 2015 - 08:01 AM

Zuul huh, firenflux? Makes sense, as there is no Dana, only Zuul....

#74922 Thrown Form Help

Posted by Benzine on 05 February 2015 - 07:06 PM


... but keep in mind, everyone making pottery is one pull from a disaster, 


Ha, I love that statement!  I would post it in my classroom, but I don't want to frighten the students, away from the wheel, more than they are already.