I was thinking that I wanted to have my kindergarten and first grade students make animal sculptures for Mother's Day, but I have a few questions about firing. I am basically a beginner and know almost nothing about firing ceramics - I have used our schools kiln before for flat objects like cookie cutter ornaments. I really want to do this project because I think it will be fun, cute, and way more creative for the kids, but I am worried about the firing process.
1) From what I have gathered it is best to hollow out clay if it is thicker than 1/2 in. Is this always true? I don't think that my students will be able to do this bit for themselves and I'm not sure I want to take on hollowing out 24 clay animals by myself.
2) A lot of instructions I have read have suggested letting these things dry for 1 - 2 weeks. I have never done this with previous projects and have done a preheat in the kiln for 24 hours. Is this okay to do?
Thanks for any help!