Our guests arrived around 4:30 Wednesday afternoon. The Brownie leaders and the Brownies themselves had a great time. They never seemed bored or confused - they were engaged all the time with us. A photographer from the Rossmoor News showed up to take pictures of the Brownies and their leaders and a few of us. Also Mel took notes for a write-up for the paper - look for this in future issues of the Rossmoor News.
First we showed the Brownies a variety of different types of items that could be made with clay. A whole assortment of things were displayed: a turtle, a horse, a frog, a marble stand, a raku sculpture with piano keys, some little cars, some plaques with horses and riders, as well as a variety of cups, vases, bowls, candle holders, and this and that. They asked questions and got good answers.
Talk about neat kids. They loved the whole thing. It is amazing how much they did and how much we did with them. We had a demonstration of making slabs with the slab-roller vs. using a rolling pin. Then we gave each girl a 6" square of clay (rolled flat and cut out by Judy beforehand) so they each got to make a small "push plate" with texture, which was a great start!
After that they got to watch Ana, Margaret, Bella and Lisa throw on the wheel. Ana made a large bowl, Lisa made a wonderful vase, Bella trimmed and carved a beautiful leather-hard vase, and Margaret made a very cute mouse-shaped cheese holder. The Brownies were very curious, asked lots of questions, and were very impressed by our wonderful ladies who threw pots.
The Brownies saw Anne cut a sculpture in half and take out the extra clay inside to make it hollow, then put it back together so that no seam showed. It was too cool - the leaders about had a fit when she cut the sculpture in half. It was really funny!
We had a short talk on how long it takes to make a ceramic bowl (or anything else), from beginning to end. We showed them a detailed timeline chart that Judy & Patty had made about the whole process (note: we will be hanging the chart on the wall for all to see and use as a short guide when just out of Orientation and beyond).
Then off to the Raku Kiln and the Pit fire Pit. There Patty showed them the Raku kiln and told them about how we open it up while it's very hot (1,800 degrees!) so that we can take out our pieces, wearing gloves and using tongs. Then we put them in a can with shredded newspapers and the hot pieces catch it on fire and flames fly up several feet, before we cover it and let it smoke. OOOOO'S and AHHHHHHH'S were loud and clear.
Right on time at 5:00 pm we gave them ice cream and Helen answered all their questions about sculpting a frog and a turtle and all kinds of other stuff as well. She was really fun for them while they ate their ice cream and so did she.
We all felt really happy when it was done and knew we had done a good thing and taught 14 girls and their leaders a lot about a Ceramic Studio. The Brownies will earn a Ceramics badge to go with all the others they have sewn on their uniforms. We agreed to fire and glaze their push plates for them and let them know when they were ready.
THANKS TO ALL OF YOU WHO HELPED MAKE THIS A REALLY FUN EVENT FOR THEM AND ALL OF US! - JUDY