Monday, March 11, 2013

Melted Marble Pinchpots


 A How the World Works unit about natural resources was the perfect opportunity to introduce ceramics to my kindergarten students.  I've been reading about melting marbles into student work for a long time, but this is the first time I've tried it.

When the pinch pots were bisque fired and glazed (but not glaze fired), each child chose a marble to drop in.  I asked the children what they thought would happen to the marble-- the answers were hilarious.  Lots of explosions and disappearing acts.  What a great science lesson on how materials can change!

The children were in awe when they were allowed to handle their finished pinch pots, and I get asked daily when they take them out of the display case and home.

Some helpful hints if you're going to try it:

1) keep the interior color light so that the colors in the marble come through
2) make sure the pinch pot stays small so that the melted marble covered the entire bottom of the interior
3) if you have enough marbles for each child to put two in, give it a try! 

6 comments:

  1. Were the marbles the kind that you can roll or flat-bottomed ones?
    Thanks!
    Danielle

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  2. thanks danielle! we used standard marbles, not the glass blobs. Would love to try the glass blobs, though.

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  3. I am inspired! Think I will run out and purchase some marbles for my Kinders pinch pots to be fired in the next couple of weeks.

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  4. This is possibly the most beloved lesson I have ever taught! I have older students that did the project with me years ago and tell me how much fun it was and how they still have their pots.

    Surprise this year: I bought red glass gems. A boy selected them for his shark pot....and they came out of the kiln clear and colorless!!! None of my other colored marbles or gems have acted this way!

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