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Ceramics - A New Generation: Article or Project

A Mold
A kid

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My grandson, who is now 14 (less 3 months), has decided he wants to learn how to do ceramics. Now mind you, growing up with a grandmother who has played in the 'mud' for 50 plus years, he has had ample exposure to the world of ceramics.

He was about 2 when he painted his first item. Several years ago, he actually helped cast some op magnets and has painted several gifts for family on bisque that I readied for him. He has even worked with clay and modeled a few items, but these were short term, quick projects that he did when offered. This is the first time he actually expressed any real "interest" in ceramics as a medium.

Of course all kind of images swirled through my head of him being the next generation to carry on my "legacy",open up a shop one day, learn and teach others.... well, you get the idea. When I settled back down-to-earth and all things practical, I realized that this also may just be a flash in the pan, as is typical of most teenagers. Undaunted though, I started beginning lessons. He wanted to learn about casting molds and had a million questions which I attempted to answer as fast as he blurted them out, only slowing him down long enough to listen to my answers.

We recently started a long-term garden project, namely setting up a fish pond. The garden is something we have loved to do together for several years. So, in keeping things relevant I searched my mold stacks and found a mold of a sleeping, or ΓΆ 'log' turtle from Scioto that would be cute on a rock around the pond. With instruction, he patiently dusted out the mold, belted it, poured the slip in and watched the clock until it was time to cast off. Then came the hard part, waiting. He kept asking me when it could come out of the mold, when do we fire it and paint it and a whole series of related questions. His enthusiasm was contagious.

It was finally time and I told him to lift the top off the mold. He was worried it would not come off, but I assured him, it would open up if it was ready but to not force it. When it came right off, his "WOW!" and smile was very rewarding. I showed him how the slip would act as a glue when attaching the legs and he watched every move. "COOL!"

He wanted to immediately fire it, but I said he had to wait again (insert frowny face). We cast another and I told him in a couple days, they would be dry enough for us to clean away the seams before it gets fired. We will have two projects, his and mine as I do one to show him how to do his.

Stay tuned for the next episode of "Ceramics: A New Generation"


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Ceramics - A New Generation

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