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Author Topic: Teaching Classes  (Read 1802 times)

LAC

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Teaching Classes
« on: September 03, 2014, 08:39:39 PM »
Hi!

I am thinking about teaching polymer clay classes, but l'm not sure where to start.  I would have to do it at a community center, but l was wondering how people integrate the curing time into the lesson and where to put the oven as the fumes are very off putting.  If someone could contact me with their experiences then that would be really appreciated. 

I'm trying to come up with a few plans and modest budget for tools etc..but the practical elements of curing time/where to cure the clay and how long to make sessions have me scratching my head a little.

Thank you in advance.
laura ;)

ejralph

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Re: Teaching Classes
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2014, 10:41:44 AM »
I guess it depends on a few factors -

have you enough ovens that you could practically bake the items in class?
Does the venue allow you to bring in your own electrical equipment and use it?
Are you insured adequately should any student injure themselves in the baking process?

Although, of course, the last issue does really apply to all aspects of the work - insurance is a good idea if you are instructing people and having them use sharp blades or other tools etc anyway

I have taught classes where I provided suitable boxes for people to take their items home and instructions how to bake them in their home ovens. This is also an option.

If you do decide to bake in class, you can use that time re-cap what you have learned or go over what you'll be covering the next lesson.

As for the fumes - I guess it is a subjective thing - but normal baking shouldn't give off fumes that are too overpowering, so do be sure you're not over heating the clay if fumes are a very noticable issue for you

Emma
Emma from Sunny Sussex, UK
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monkey ann

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Re: Teaching Classes
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2014, 01:43:24 PM »
I have helped out on a number of workshops for the group I am a member of.

Even with a large group of over 20 students, with 3 ovens going, we have not had problems with excessive fumes.

I am guessing you will start off small, with just one oven.

Most students will work at different speeds, I usually find baking happens when enough pieces are ready for the oven.  Have an area near the oven for unbaked pieces and another for cured pieces.  DO NOT allow the students to use the oven.  Either do it yourself, or select an oven monitor.  DO NOT let them open the oven during a bake, with some ovens this effects the temp for the rest of the bake.  Where to place the oven may just be down to where the plug points are.  Try and set the room out, with you at one end, the students in the middle and oven at the far end.  Better if you are teaching with the oven running as far away as possible, avoiding noise and heat.  Keep trailing leads away from walk ways.

Be aware of timings if they need their first stage baked to go on to the next stage you are teaching.

Have a health and safety notice for the oven, extension lead, oven gloves and a heat proof mat.  Look into liability insurance, the venue you use may cover you, but it is unlikely.  Send me a PM for a H&S notice if you want one. 

Are you thinking of teaching students that are new to polymer clay.  They will need to have a surface to work on, a roller and a tissue blade, or craft knife.  If they are not completely new they should have the basics and it is quite acceptable to give 'old hands' a materials list, for them to get their own.  For items that are better bought in packs, you can buy and either give them out, or charge a small amount for these.

Good luck

Ann from Croydon, Surrey

LAC

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Re: Teaching Classes
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2014, 02:01:19 PM »
Thank you for your help! It is much appreciated.