Building a Ceramics Program from the Ground Up




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Introduction 0:52

Clay, Tools, and Techniques

Why Clay? 4:06

Making Your Own Tools 2:32

Basic Building Techniques 3:25

Organization and Materials

Organizing Projects 2:23

Organizing and Distributing Materials 2:58

The Best Way to Roll Out Slabs 2:52

Preparing Systems for Clay and Glaze

Management Systems and Preparation 4:18

Systems for Glaze 2:14

A Simple System for Clay 0:57

Management of Clay and Tools

Cleaning Tools 1:48

Spiraling Your Curriculum

Beginning Projects for K-1 3:04

Intermediate and Advanced Elementary Projects 2:11

Additional Project Ideas 2:48

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Building a Ceramics Program from the Ground Up

2 PD Hours

  • 1 Explore strategies for effectively managing and organizing your clay tools, supplies, and student projects.

  • 2 Discover how to best teach basic building techniques such as slab and coil methods.

  • 3 Learn simple systems for glazing, reclaiming clay, and making your own tools.

Whether you are looking to get your first clay project set up or you’ve been using clay in your art room for years, this Learning Pack will cover best practices for teaching ceramics. Discover everything from basic construction methods to how to best manage glazing and reclaiming clay. Walk away with ideas to help you seamlessly store projects, clean tools, and distribute materials.

John Post

John Post

PRO Facilitator and Elementary Art Teacher

John has an elementary art room in Sterling Heights, Michigan, and a pottery studio in Sedona, Arizona. He has taught art to kids at every level from Kindergarten through 12th grade since 1991. John hopes that by sharing how he uses clay with his students, more art teachers will venture beyond the basic pinch pot and into more engaging ceramics work.


  • Tony Hurtado

    Is there anyway to reclaim clay that is bone dry? The art teacher left over 20 boxes of clay and three huge bins of dried clay in the storage room. Is it all waste?

    • Dawn Nicole Hamby

      You can absolutely reclaim bone dry clay! (It actually absorbs water better than leatherhard clay.) Cover the dry clay with water and let it soak for a couple days. Then, you can either use a pull mill or spread out the slurry (wet, mushy clay) on a plaster or wooden base to dry. I have a couple very large metal pans that I line with canvas then spread the clay out and cover with another canvas to keep the edges from drying too quickly. It takes a few hours to a couple days (depending on humidity) for the slurry to dry to plastic, workable consistency. Finally, the clay is ready to be wedged/kneaded for use! There are very good YouTube videos demonstrating this process too.