Monday, April 22, 2019

Textured Ceramic Mugs

Its that time of year again when we make mugs to learn how to work with clay.  The most important thing students learn is "Scoring and Slipping".  I also presented this at the art teacher conference in Knobnoster, Missouri with MAEA (Missouri Art Education Association)

Here are the directions I give out for working with clay, and making a mug:

Slab-Rolling a Mug
Mintert- Knobnoster 2018

1.      Roll a Slab- Use fabric, thickness gauges and roller to create a large slab.
2.     Check the Thickness- Get low, gently roll the roller over the slab to find any high spots.  Where the roller comes off the thickness gauges you have thick spots that need to be rolled again.
3.     Apply texture- if you want texture, it needs to be done now.  Get a texture plate, and leaving the thickness gauges in place, apply a texture by rolling over the texture plate in the clay.
4.     Cut the wall- Using the template (4x11 or 5x11 in) mark the dimensions of the wall.  Remove the template and cut free from the slab.
5.     Build the wall- stand the wall on end and form into a cylinder.  On the ends, use SCORING AND SLIPPING, (AND SQUISHING AND SMOOTHING) TO JOIN THE ENDS.
6.     Roll the base-  Take the scraps and re-roll to a slab that would be large enough to accommodate the cylinder.
7.     Measure and connect- Place the cylinder on the slab, mark the location, and flip over the cylinder onto the fabric, to expose the bottom.  SCORE AND SLIP the slab and base of cylinder.  Flip the cylinder over again and firmly press onto the slipped base.
8.     Cut and remove- Once you are sure it is connected well, use clay tool to cut it free from the excess slab material and flip it over onto the fabric.
9.     Squish and Smooth- while the mug is upside down, double check the bond, and smooth down any marks.  Using a needle tool, ADD YOUR FIRST AND LAST NAME, CLASS HOUR, AND YEAR to the bottom.
10.  Smooth Inside- Flip the mug over and use the brush and water to double check the seam on the inside and remove any extra scoring marks.
11.  Attach the handle- Use the extruder to pull a handle shape.  Attach using scoring and slipping over the joint in the mug wall.

12.  Dry and Fire- Allow the mug to dry for several days before firing to proper cone in the kiln.

13.  Glazing-Glaze the mug. ( directions on another instruction sheet)

This year many students used a specialty "Crystaltex" glaze that had crystals that burst making a speckled pattern.  they turned out really nice!