Monday, August 29, 2011

Single-fire Glazes for Kids' Clay Projects

Last week, we shared our thoughts on using different colors of stoneware clay to add contrast and color to kid’s clay projects. In that article, we mentioned that glazing can sometimes be a challenge when you are working with kids and clay because it usually requires two firings which means kids won’t get their project back quickly. In addition to contrasting stoneware clay colors, another solution that you may want to try is single-fire glazes.
In an informative blog by the folks at Electric Cone 6, Mid-Fire Potters (now there’s a specialized blog…), they point out that single-fire glazes have been used for a long time in industrial ceramics for tiles of all types, bricks and bathroom fixtures. So you can rest easy knowing this method is tried and true. Plus, it’s a great way to keep kids interested in their project from start to finish since all the work can be completed in a compact timeline.
Kids enjoy the process of painting their pieces and using single-fire glazes can be a teachable moment too as they discover how glazes are transformed at high temperatures. They will see that it’s not just the color that is altered, but also the finish, as the glazes transform from a chalky paint to a glistening luster on their pieces.
Have you tried single-fired glazes and what has worked for you? 

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