We have a new garden. Thanks to the ASB we were able to start a new garden outside the ceramics studio. Special thanks to the ASB and Marsha Linsley for providing supplies, students for your help planning and planting and to the maintenance staff at PYLUSD and EHS.

Some interesting facts about the garden:
There are colorful pieces of broken up old ceramic project that make the pathways
The old logs were used as centerpieces in my wedding
The fence was pieced together with old t-squares from the drawing class

Some of the plowers and plants in the garden:
African Marigold
Kangaroo Paws
Fortnight Lily
Marigold Dwarf
Assorted succulents


Studio Upgrade

Some upgrades to the tables. More to follow…

I made a casserole dish for a Mother’s Day gift and wanted to include some decals on the side and top of the dish. I ordered the decals from beldecal.com.  The cost is a little under one dollar per sheet. I used Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator to design and edit some vector art and photos I found on the internet. It is best to use royalty free images or your own designs and photographs.

After the design was created I measured the size and printed out the image on the transfer decal paper. (Follow the instruction with the paper and apply the image to the glazed pottery.) The results are great. I will fire the piece in the next low fire glaze or bisque fire. The lazerjet toner will adhere to the pottery and give it a strong bond to the glaze. I hope to make this an advanced technique for my advanced students. I am sure they will have some great ideas.

From left, Kevin Kowalski, ceramics teacher; Kelly Fritz, art fundamentals teacher; Marsha Linsley, visual arts department chair; Sandee Van Oyen, Creative Arts Awards/Reflections chair.

Full Article Here

I poured a plaster table about a month ago and wanted to share the internal structure and procedures. I used a 2×4 wood frame and inserted 1/2 inch steel rebar about every 8-10 inches. I placed a plastic bag under the mold and added a coil of clay around the wood frame and the plastic bag to prevent leaking during the pour. I poured the plaster table top upside down so that the plaster would be smooth and flat on the top after I flipped it over. Use a level to make sure the table is level so your plaster will flow evenly. I mixed up about 120 pds of plaster. Check the bag or manufactures website for exact measurements. Here is a link for Aardvarks instructions.  I used an electric glaze mixer to mix the plaster in a large trash can and then I poured it into the mold in two batches. Make sure to have a bucket of clean water to wash of any tools or your hands. Plaster should never be poured down the sink. It will harden in your pipes and cause a large problem.

Some tools you will need:

Dust mask for everyone helping
Scale for weighing the water and plaster
Electric mixer
Bucket of clean water
Paper towels for clean up

This table has made the studio flow smoothly and keeps our recycled clay flowing.
Mr. Kowalski

Studio Updates…

Project Cycles

During the past 5 weeks I have tried something new with the students. We are working in cycles. There are three cycles; a hand sculpture, a clay mask and story and the potters wheel. After three weeks the groups change; Hand to Wheel, Wheel to Mask and Mask to Hand. This has been challenging for me as a teacher to keep everyone on task and try to manage three lectures in one class period. I use handouts and worksheets to guide them through most of the set up for the Hand and Mask and then work with the wheel group up front. Here are some examples of the projects.