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Prerequisites: None

Ceramics 101 Topics and Main points

Things to remember about 101 its a “safety and expectations class” not a how to. Don’t let it become a “how to”. It should take about one hour to go through all of this stuff. If the students start asking about “advanced” topics (glaze chem, kiln tech, throwing techniques, ect) don’t be afraid to just refer them to the current champion as that is out of scope of the training and may require additional trainings.

This list is ordered in walking order of the ceramics area:

Coat Rack/Apron Hooks

  • Feel free to store your coats/aprons
  • that will become “communal” apron if stored there
  • if you want it back, politely ask

Wedging table

  • Clean it when done
  • Leave the scale there
  • Clean the scale
  • Replacing fishing line, scissors location
Slop bucket
  • Slop goes here,
  • Dried out clay to be reclaimed goes here, 2 flavors
  • Do not place fired clay, colored clay, glazed clay, or laser cut clay into slop bucket

Clay bucket

  • Unused clay/ pugged clay goes here
  • Communal use
  • Two Flavors, Red and Raku (both stoneware)
  • Use raku prop, grey can be used with regular glazes
Reclaiming Dish
  • Slop goes in, wait days, remove and pug the clay.
  • Do not use tools to remove the clay, don’t scratch plaster
  • On and off switch
  • Forward and reverse
  • Cleanliness (no chunks), Talk about how to clean and what to use to clean - show example
  • Remember to turn them off
  • Chairs go on top of the wheels when done.
  • How to clean - grout sponge

General Cleanup

  • If you make a huge mess
  • Mop up the mess, don’t sweep it
  • The only exception is if it was trimmings that got on the floor
  • Water is always the best way to clean
  • Don’t use the shop vac, its for the kiln

Tool Racks

  • communal tools live here
  • Please put them back clean when done
  • Keep them in a set. Plastic Rib, Needle Tool, Wire Tool, Metal Rib Wooden Knife.
  • Where to refill if something is missing
  • What is on the general tool rack

Sink Area

  • How to use the sink
  • What to throw in the sink (glaze, light clay water)
  • What NOT to throw in the sink (chunks), Slip buckets for throwing
  • Paper Towel - Goes in the trash

Clay Mixer

  • Check it when you are using the ceramics area - if it's very wet run it while you are here, turn it off when you leave
  • If it feels ready, UNLOAD IT
  • Show how to turn it on, and the 2 ways to turn it off (button + opening)

Pug Mill

  • Most dangerous tool
  • Don't stick your hand past the funnel “taper”
  • Cheater bar to help increase leverage.
  • Takes reclaimed “dried”(to a workable state) clay and mixes / compresses it for better properties
  • Is stored next to the Clay Mixer
  • It is on wheels and can be moved anywhere.
  • Clay from clay mixer can be pug milled for better consistency and less airyness

Slab Roller

  • Rolls out, (demonstrate opening and closing the table)
  • Must be clean
  • Don’t cut/work directly on melamine
  • Must use canvas to send clay through (under rollers)
  • Must progressively thin the clay like pasta ~25% increments
  • Brent Slab Roller
  • Adjust thickness with sheets of hardboard
  • use canvas in-between roller
  • hang canvas up to dry
Clay Extruder
  • Clean when done
  • Dies can be made from plastic/wood
  • Put dies back in the organization rack.
  • Show Rubber cover for dies and how it works.
  • Put T-Handle back where you found it.
Book Shelf
  • Books and Magazines are stored here
  • Only read with clean hands
Mug Rack
  • A fun way to show off your mug, claim a slot for your drink cup with a tag
Storage Shelves
  • Size affects drying speeed
  • Farther up dries faster
  • Get your stuff out fast - move to greenware shelf if you are ready to fire
  • Purging - shelf cleaned out every space improvement day and purge rack emptied
  • Show where purge rack is
  • Clean mixing sticks and scoops in the sink in wet clay area
  • Don’t cross contaminate
  • Wash with damp sponge
  • Bucket system on drawers, twist covers, magnet and pitcher
  • Washers on buckets can be reattached using superglue
  • Clean the base of your pieces after glazing, EVEN IF YOU USE WAX
Glaze Materials
  • If you want a new glaze rules: Reach out to Jeff to take Glazing 102 (by request) - 2-3hr class where you make a glaze
    • Calculate cost (I have a fancy spreadsheet, it is easy)
    • 100-200g batch with and make test tile
    • Will be put into rotation after that
  • Don’t waste materials, one of the most expensive things of this area
  • Always wear an N95 dust mask from ceramics area
Firing Shelves
  • Wet clay (workable clay, what most people think about)
  • Leather hard (low moisture content clay that is hard but not completely dry)
  • Green ware (bone dry pieces waiting to be fired)
  • Bisque ware (after bisque firing, when you glaze)
  • Glazed ware (after final firing)
  • Clean the base of your pieces after glazing, EVEN IF YOU USE WAX
  • Cost of pieces and how to pay for them
Kiln Firing
  • Kiln Shelf System
  • Labeled, if its on the bisque or finished work rack you need to take action.
  • Firing Rules, loaders choice, no complaining
  • Things can get ruined in the kiln, we try not to let that happen, sometimes it does
  • Rejection sheets, explain what each means
  • Kiln training
  • This is a different 2-part class and is in no way necessary for use of the ceramics area, pieces will be fired on a “when kiln is full” schedule. (3 hrs. per loading and unloading kiln)
  • Don’t touch if you are not trained.
  • The Kiln is not a shelf to put stuff
areas/ceramics/ceramicsref/ceramics101.txt · Last modified: 2024/03/21 14:10 by wildapricot-mann_jeff