Tuesday, April 12, 2011

65: Glazing

The art classes spent the day glazing bisque tiles they and their classmates cut out last week. After the tiles are cut from the clay, they are bisque fired in the kiln. This is the first firing, a process that chemically converts the material from clay to a relatively soft ceramic known as bisque. Once the tiles are fired and cooled, a process that can take up to 24 hours, they can be painted with glaze. 

Three coats of glaze are required to achieve the brilliant, saturated colors we want for this series of murals. The pastel colors on the tiles in these photos will deepen and brighten tremendously during the firing process. The tiles in the second picture above are arranged on a kiln tray, ready for their next firing. 

I'm finding the differences in overall organization and competency related to age fascinating. The art teacher's classes happen to be arranged from oldest to youngest in the morning, and youngest to oldest in the afternoon, which tends to emphasize those differences for me. The turtle and rabbit above are both second grade projects. I was impressed with the attention to both realistic detail and stylized personality in these and many other second graders' work.

The kids in the next two photos are fourth graders in a Boost Block, an enrichment period at the end of the day. They worked together in a congenial manner while making efficient use of both material and time.

These are fifth graders, who self-sorted according to ability and preference. They worked quickly and neatly with little need of direction. You may notice there are no pictures of kindergartners, who are enthusiastic and voluble workers. No time to pick up the camera with those little ones at hand!


  1. Fun! Can't wait to see the finished product.

  2. These are really cool; the rabbit is my favorite. Would it be ok if I passed on this idea to my kids' school? This kind of project is right up their alley and I think it would be awesome for Phoenix to work with them.

  3. Looks like a great start for your week!

  4. Jess, by all means! And just wait till you see the gorgeous bridge we are building as well. The farther we get in the planning and execution, the more excited I am getting about this project.