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There’s this feeling I get when I close the kiln for the last time in the school year. It’s pure jubilation! A smile creeps onto my face when I think about how my muscles can relax from picking up those 50 pound boxes of clay or how I don’t have to take stock in hand lotion anymore. But we all know it takes a lot of time and effort before we can get to that point in the year. Currently, I’m not there. I’m still knee-deep in coil pots and slab fish. The good news is that I have a trick up my sleeve to keep the post-clay day much easier on you!
The battle with glaze can feel like a daunting one. But I’ve found a surefire way to distribute multiple glazes with very little prep work and zero glaze clean up. My solution? Glaze Palettes. Read on to find out how to create your own!
Creating Glaze Palettes
1. Purchase one-piece empty palettes from a craft store. I snagged mine from School Specialty, but there are lots of good options out there.
2. Decide which glazes you use the most and want to make available to your students.
3. Label the lids and the sides of your palettes with the glaze colors and/or initials for easy identification.
4. Fill the palettes with glazes.
5. Serve the palettes to your tables for easy distribution.
6. When finished, have your students gently put the lids back on the correct glaze colors. (Hooray for zero clean up!)
Tip: Run the glaze palettes (with lids on) through hot water and loosen the caps before distributing.
Maintaining Glaze Palettes
I have had my palettes for several years now, and they are still going strong. That can be true for you too so long as you don’t get so excited that clay is done for the year that you forget to empty out the palettes. Just employ some students to help you wash out the containers.
I usually don’t pour any remaining glaze back into their original jars because I don’t want to contaminate anything. If you wait untill the following year to clean out your glaze palettes you will notice the glaze inside has pretty much dried up. Just take the caps off and knock the containers against a trashcan. The glaze should come out after a few hits and you’ll be ready to clean them out and fill them up with new glaze for a brand new year.
How do you manage glaze distribution in your classroom?
When do you finish clay projects for the year? Are you an early bird or a procrastinator?
Magazine articles and podcasts are opinions of professional education contributors and do not necessarily represent the position of the Art of Education University (AOEU) or its academic offerings. Contributors use terms in the way they are most often talked about in the scope of their educational experiences.