Category:Ceramics

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Committees are voluntary groups, formed by members in order to achieve certain goals.
To join this committee, contact the committee chairperson. See Rules and Policies#Committees for more information.

Purpose

Our purpose as the Ceramics Committee is to provide an open learning environment where makers can choose between different ceramic techniques: hand building, wheel throwing, or slip casting, not only to begin, but also to accomplish a ceramics project. As a Committee, we offer beginner classes in all the above mentioned techniques to ease new makers into the ceramics process and teach all the necessary information to achieve a finished product. Our Committee members also enjoy teaching intermediate and advanced classes that highlight their skill sets. As a Committee, we aim to create a community where we can share ideas, collaborate, and push each other to become better potters.

Getting Started & FAQ

How do I get started?

1) Go to the Talk forum, message @Team_Ceramics to let us know you're interested.

2) Review this page and add your name to the Members section below.

3) Register for a 100 or 101 level class here! to get your feet wet in clay. *Required for new members.* We recommend that you take multiple classes from multiple teachers. There are many ways to get an amazing end result and each teacher has their own unique way of creating and throwing with clay.

Where can I find the classes? Check Dallas Makerspace Calendar or download the DMS NEW Events App.

When are classes posted? Every day, and they fill up quickly. Make it a habit to check the calendar. When an instructor submits a class, it can take up to 3 days to post so that it's open for registration.

Do I need clay for class? No. Clay is provided for most classes.

What if I want to make on my own stuff after class? Where can I buy clay? You can get clay at Trinity Ceramics in Dallas, Texas. (Ask for Kay or Connor and tell them you fire at DMS). They have 2 awesome sales twice a year where clay is half off. 

A mentor/teacher/old man in the woods gave me some clay they made. Can I use it? Not in DMS Ceramics kilns. You must use appropriate clay for our community kilns. If you are in doubt as to what type of clay it is, do not use it at DMS Ceramics. Only use clay that you know. You can also reach out and ask for one of our DMS member samples of clay or purchase your own. Clay is pretty cheap. Keep reading.

What kind of clay should I buy? Mid-fire clay-Stoneware is a great beginner clay. For throwing, the grog helps the clay hold more water and resist collapsing. Great for hand building. Stoneware fires great at cone 6. There are a variety of colors: white, reds, browns, and speckled. T-Mix: T-Mix has no grog and fires white. It looks great for both thrown and delicate hand built pieces. Glazes beautifully.

Porcelain: Frost, cone 6 porcelain, is tricky to dry, throws well, but is prone cracks. You have to dry it very, very slowly.

Where do I put my stuff to get fired? See 'Community Firings' section below.

When will my stuff get fired? We are a community kiln, allow for up to 10+ days between firing times. Plan in advance.

How long do bisque firings take? When your piece is placed in the kiln, it takes about 1 1/2 days to rise to temperature and then cool down. What about glaze firings? When your piece is placed in the kiln, it takes about 2 1/2 days to rise to temperature and then cool down. This is where the magic happens!

How do I know if my stuff has been fired? The Kiln Team routinely posts pictures of loads/unloads at https://talk.dallasmakerspace.org/c/Ceramics/21 on Ceramics Kiln News.

What else should I know about firings?

  • How your piece is placed on the shelf is how it will be fired, so if you want a lid fired on place it on if not next to it.
  • If you have a special instruction or something is out of the norm (fire on side; fire on stilts, etc) you need to place a note on your item for the kiln team.
  • Use Elmer's glue to glue your piece to your cookie/stilt if it requires a specific placement.
  • If your piece is unusually shaped or large, provide your own cookie.
  • If the kiln team has a question we will note it or move to “needs attention shelf” located to the right of the kilns. Please read the note and respond so your stuff can get fired.
  • The Kilns are run by volunteers who strive to be fair when loading the kilns; do not harass the kiln team members. Repeat/redundant posts with aggressive language or nagging about when x will get fired could induce disciplinary action: Removal from ceramics department.

Can't find my stuff! Check the shelves again and then check the shelf to the right of the kilns. It's possible there is an issue with your glazed piece and it was withheld from firing. It's also possible that your thing(s) were re-fired. In the very rare case where the kiln doesn't reach temperature, we will re run the kiln to ensure that pieces are fully bisqued/vitrified. Your piece could have been affected but fear not, it will be just fine.

Can I use the Ceramics Space glazes? Yes, but we ask that you drop $1-$5 in the black container (paypal us) as a donation to pay for glazes used. Wipe the rim of the container when you are finished, before you place it back on the shelf.

What about buying my own glazes? Sure! We recommend starting with mid-fire glazes. Amaco 5/6 glazes. Make sure to do your research, read the detail and find as much info/photos of the intended results. Amaco's Celadon line is formulated to be mixed (which is novel in glazes) and their Potter’s Choice line runs deep and can be layered for fantastic results. Spectrum, Coyote and Mayco also have excellent glazes.

Oops! I forgot about my pieces! How long do I have to finish/collect them?

  • Abandoned greenware will be disposed of after 30 days
  • Abandoned bisqued pieces on the pick-up shelves will be disposed of after 30 days
  • Abandoned glazed pieces on the pick-up shelves will be disposed of after 30 days

Events & Classes

Find classes here and/or download the DMS NEW Events App for easy access to registration.

Classes:

  • Ceramics Orientation 100 - Welcome to Ceramics!
  • Beginners Throwing 101, Beginners Trimming 102
  • Beginners Handbuilding 101
  • Beginners Slipcasting 101
  • Beginners Glazing 103

Events:

  • Monthly Committee Meetings
  • Monthly Ceramics Area Deep Clean

Other Classes:

  • Crash Course in Pottery
  • Various Project Classes

Find us on Social Media & 'Talk'

DMS Talk Forum https://talk.dallasmakerspace.org/c/ceramics (this will have the most information and the most activity)

@Team_Ceramics_Inst Closed group for those who teach at DMS ceramics. Wanna teach? Let us know!

@Team_Ceramics Open group that includes all Ceramics members.

@Team_CeramicsFire Closed group for the kiln team. Have a question? Send it our way!

Facebook DMS Ceramics Forum https://www.facebook.com/groups/352881235071266/

Instagram - www.instagram.com/dmsceramics

Monthly Committee Meetings

Monthly Ceramics Committee Meetings are held the first Tuesday of the month from 6:30-8:00 p.m.in the North Conference Room. They are also on the Class/event Calendar. Come see what’s happening every month in Ceramics!

Can't make it in person? Join via Google:

meet.google.com/fwv-ugna-jxv

Or dial: (US) +1 727-502-6481

PIN: 708 802 187#

For all Ceramics Committee Meeting Minutes please click here: Meeting Minutes

Rules

New Members

All new members must take a Ceramics Orientation class. These go up sporadically so be sure to check the calendar for Ceramics 100 - Welcome to Ceramics! This class will clear you to use the Ceramics space and pottery wheels at Dallas Makerspace. You can also sign up for Beginners Throwing 101, Beginners Trimming 102, and Beginners Glazing 103. Please sign up for a Committee Orientation Class before using the Ceramics space at Dallas Makerspace.

Link to the Ceramics Orientation 100 - Welcome to Ceramics! syllabus:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1tdNKFvULj-4ooutsgqAe3yFi-uQFk_Bj2R3WuhM13bc/edit?usp=sharing

Throwing on the Wheel? Read this! Cleaning Procedures:

  • All buckets, splash pans, tools, and sponges are to be taken to the utility sink for cleaning.
  • Make sure that you throw away large lumps of clay in the trash can. Our clay trap is only meant to capture small amounts of clay.
  • Use the spray bottles and paper towels to wipe down the wheel and stool of all clay.
  • Use a wet sponge to clean traces of your clay off of the wedging table on any space you wedged, carved or dried your clay.
  • Sweep or mop any trimmings or clay splatters.
  • Return all tools, buckets, sponges to their designated locations.

How to clean in DMS Ceramics - Please see attached.

File:CleaningPosterFA.pdf

How our Shelving System works

In-Progress Shelves:

  • Bats must be labeled with name and date when the piece was thrown (blue tape and sharpie).
  • Pieces on bats that are unlabeled will be disposed of.
  • Pieces will only be allowed to remain on bats for a maximum of two weeks before being moved onto ware boards where they can remain for the remainder two weeks (30 day total).
  • Labels must be transferred from bats to ware boards.
  • Pieces on labeled ware boards will be disposed of 30 days after the labeled thrown date.

Pick-up Shelves:

  • Abandoned bisqued pieces on the pick-up shelves will be disposed of after 30 days
  • Abandoned glazed pieces on the pick-up shelves will be disposed of after 30 days

Handbuilding or Slip casting? Read this!

  • Clean up the slab roller after use.
  • All buckets, tools, and sponges are to be taken to the utility sink for cleaning.
  • Make sure that you throw away large lumps of clay in the trash can. Our clay trap is only meant to capture small amounts of clay.
  • Use a wet sponge to clean traces of your clay off of the wedging table on any space you wedged, carved or dried your clay.
  • Sweep or mop any trimmings or clay, slip splatters.

Community Firings & The Kiln Team

What does it take to run DMS Ceramics Kilns for the community? Read more here.

Community bisque firings are fired to cone 04 and community glaze firings are fired to 6. Items placed on the ready to fire shelves will be fired by the firing team, Team Ceramics Fire. Pictures of fired pieces being unloaded will be posted on the Monthly Kiln News thread on Talk. For non-standard firing schedules (other than cones 04 or 6), please send requests to the Ceramics Chair and head of Team Ceramics Fire. Community firings will take precedence over requested individual firings. To schedule, there must be a full kiln load (or close to it) ready to fire. Partial kiln loads will only be fired at the discretion of the Chair and Team Ceramics Fire. You must be present for both loading and unloading.

The Kiln Team - Operating the kilns comes with great responsibility; only members of Team Ceramics Fire are allowed to load/unload the kilns. Read more about what it takes to run the DMS Kilns here.

Wanna join? Send a message to Team Ceramics Fire. We're always happy to have more hands on deck! We strive to adhere to best practices for our kilns in the hopes that we are blessed by the Kiln Gods- see our firing schedules/temperatures and guidelines here.

Reminders:

  • How your piece is placed on the firing shelves is how it will be fired, so if you want a lid fired on place it on if not next to it.
  • If you have a special instruction or something is out of the norm (fire on side; fire on stilts, etc) you need to place a note on your item for the kiln team.
  • Use Elmer's glue to glue your piece to your cookie/stilt if it requires a specific placement.
  • If your piece is unusually shaped or large, provide your own cookie.
  • If the kiln team has a question we will note it or move to “needs attention shelf” located to the right of the kilns. Please read the note and respond so your stuff can get fired.
  • The Kilns are run by volunteers who strive to be fair when loading the kilns; do not harass the kiln team members. Repeat/redundant posts with aggressive language or nagging about when x will get fired could induce disciplinary action: Removal from ceramics department.

Consumables & Fees

Glazes

When using Ceramics committee glazes, we ask you to contribute what you feel is appropriate based on your usage (suggested donation: $1-$5). Contributions to the Ceramics department via PAYPAL or glaze box go towards keeping the shelf stocked with a variety of styles and colors. The contribution box is located on top of the glaze shelf.

Members

Add your name (alphabetical by last name) to the list below:

  • Chair: Amanda Cline @synth83
  • Co-chair: April Burk @coffeebean
  • Christy Cooper
  • Beth Appleton
  • Trent Bush
  • Tom Cook
  • Cairenn Day
  • Andrew Garcia
  • Jen Garcia
  • Jennifer Goss
  • Dan Henderson
  • Anette Henningson
  • James Henningson
  • Nathan Jones
  • John Kulenschmidt
  • Charlotte Marchioni
  • Jason Middleton
  • Clark Perkins
  • Heidi Phillips
  • April Pruitt
  • Jaynee Purchase
  • Shirley Reeves
  • Amna Soomro
  • Monika Troester
  • Amanda Warner
  • Anita Willis
  • Julie Harris
  • Olivia Norine
  • john a. gorman talkers
  • Michael Mosesson @wizlog

Tools

Wheels

1 Shimpo VL-Whisper Machine Manual

4 Brent Classic C Product Description

1 Brent Classic CXC Product Description


Kilns

1 Skutt KM-1222 kiln

1 Paragon Sentry 2.0 kiln

Throwing and Handbuilding Tools

Sponges, wooden and metallic ribs, loop trimming tools, double sided ribbon trimming tools, heavy duty needle tools, cut off wires, and aluminum and wood scrapers, bats, cutters etc.

Giffin Grip Model 10 Product Info and How to use


Glazes

Amaco Potters Choice and Celadons

Online Resources

Check out these online resources for inspiration and video tutorials!

My Glaze didn't turn out as expected

What it takes to run DMS Ceramics Kilns for the community

Ceramic Arts daily

Hsinchuen Lin

Tim See