The student run newspaper of Poolesville High School

The Poolesville Pulse

The student run newspaper of Poolesville High School

The Poolesville Pulse

The student run newspaper of Poolesville High School

The Poolesville Pulse

Lack of Kilns in PHS’ New Ceramics Wing

Brooklyn Hornyak

With the recent transition into the new building, the art wing’s lack of kilns has impacted AP 3D Art students’ efforts to complete their projects before AP deadlines. With two weeks to finalize their works, AP 3D Art students had to submit their artwork portfolios digitally by May 10th at 8 PM to CollegeBoard. 

Ceramics teacher Mr. Cameron Petke said that for his students, kilns are used in Ceramics classes to ‘fire’ clay to temperatures between 1800-2400 degrees F to turn the clay into glazed ceramic. Not only are kilns essential to all ceramic artists to make their clay works last, but they also enhance the color and visual texture of the clay body and create strong visual texture with “dark spots that occur in a random but pleasing manner over the surface of the piece,” as stated in Ceramics Art Network. 

Petke said, “This year, we have seven periods of Ceramics courses, so I am running kilns twice on a slow week and all five days on a regular week. Each firing takes six to 12 hours, so once a kiln is cool enough to unload and available, I am loading the next one.” 

However, the two kilns in the old building both stopped working a few weeks before moving to the new building. Moreover, several issues with the new kiln deliveries occurred that delayed students’ works from being fired for another few weeks. The new building was scheduled to have three brand new kilns after Spring Break, but there was a mix-up in the communication between the distributor and MCPS so the kilns were just installed in late April.

This was an issue for AP 3D Art students with their approaching AP submission deadline. 

Senior Anushka Cheedarala, a student in AP 3D Art, said, “Submitting work has been slower! But getting work finished completely has been hard as ceramics need two firings, a bisque and a glaze (color/glass paint) which cannot be done without the initial firing. This poses a problem as AP 3D has to submit finished work with pictures.” 

According to CollegeBoard, Art and Design portfolios each include two portfolio components: the Sustained Investigation and Selected Works. Section 1 is Sustained Investigation consisting of 15 digital images and worth 60% of the score, and Section 2 is Selected Works consisting of 2 images each of five works, worth 40% of the score.

For Cheedarala—whose portfolio pieces all required a kiln to complete—and many other ceramics students alike, their clay works were put on a backlog, resulting in numerous unfinished pieces.

Mr. Carothers said in a Moco360 article about the new art wing and art facilities, “They feel top-notch…[a]nd a lot of it is because they’re fantastic on their own, but they’re just such a far cry from what we have been working in…the gap is tremendous.” In the fall, a glaze spray painting booth is expected to open after equipment orders are placed. This would allow advanced ceramics students to practice with a new technique and incorporate an air-brushed glaze finish into their works. 

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About the Contributors
Annie Chen
Annie Chen, Staff Writer
Annie Chen is a senior in the Humanities Program. Her favorite song is “Devil's Pool" by Beach House and one fun fact about her is that she is a cyclist and have biked 36 miles before!
Brooklyn Hornyak
Brooklyn Hornyak, Staff Writer
Brooklyn Hornyak is a senior in the Independent Studies Program. Her favorite song is “Son of a Sinner” by Jelly Roll and one fun fact about her is that she has two dogs, Bailey and Beans.

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