Pottery/Ceramics

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The Pottery has recently moved to the Trailer out in the back. All forms of ceramics are practiced here, from mold-making to wheel throwing to tile-making to... all kinds of fun things.


Pottery Basics:[edit]

Clean up after yourself! Do your best to leave the place in better condition than you found it. If we can tell that someone has been here by a dirty wheel or a dusty floor, you aren't done! Please see notes on clean-up procedures below.

While we encourage children in the pottery, please be aware that the pottery is not a baby-sitting service. All potteries contain chemicals which can be harmful if mishandled. Parents/guardians must accompany and supervise minors at all times.

When mixing dry glazes, always wear a dust mask (or, if you own one, a respirator) and rubber gloves.

It will be a while before we get water plumbed in to the trailer. In the meantime, please attach the red hose (on the map rack outside the trailer) to the spigot on the front of the building and collect water from there. The hose is long enough to reach almost to the trailer.

Yes, there is wifi in the trailer.

WRITE YOUR NAME ON YOUR WORK!


Supplies:[edit]

Clay bodies:

TYPES: We generally keep white earthenware (CT-3 and other kinds) in stock. We also usually have some white, cone 5 stoneware, though not always. Porcelains of varying types are brought in for class use only at this time. We don't keep red clays on hand as kids in the pottery make a mess with them and they stain clothing, which annoys their parents. You are free to bring in your own clays.

PROCEDURES: We are currently devising a clay storage space, but until then, clays may be stored on the shelving behind the wheels. Although the inside of the trailer is not as dry as the rest of TinkerMill, please make sure that you seal all bags immediately after removing clay from them. It's still Colorado and we don't believe in humidity here.

DISPOSAL: Clay is infinitely recyclable until it's been fired. When you have dry clay trimmings or clay which has become too dry to use, there are 5-gallon buckets under the table by the window, marked with what type of clay goes in them. This clay can be recycled later. Please, whatever you do, do not mix up clays; always put clay into the proper container.

When you are finished building or throwing and are left with a bucket of clay water, please take the bucket outside and empty it on the gravel. Never, never empty clay, clay water, or any pottery water, on the concrete or in Lake TinkerMill.

COSTS: Community clay is sold for $1/pound (all types). If TinkerMill members would like to use clay bodies that we don't keep in stock, please feel free to contact the shop captain. We'll include it in our next order from our supplier and you can then buy it from TinkerMill at our cost. You can pay for clay

CASTING SLIP: We currently have a small quantity of ^06 white earthenware slip (which turns out not to be microwave safe, curiously), and a small quantity of ^6 porcelain slip.


Glazes:

TinkerMill is very fortunate indeed to have had donated to us many commercial glazes suitable for earthenware. We also have a limitted amount of ^5 glazes and a few raku glazes. Use of these glazes is included in the price of the clay you buy.

At this time, our collection of glaze ingredients (frits, oxides, powdered clays, etc) is limitted to those used in specific classes.

We have special procedures for the disposal of water used to wash glaze brushes and containers, and for the containers themselves. Please see the cleanup section below.


Tools:

We have cans full of all kinds of pottery/ceramic tools, and they should be found (but won't always be) on the shelves behind the wheels. We have a number of different kinds of loop tools, a collection of cookie cutters, and the like.

We also make specialty tools on the 3D Printers from time to time. Ask the shop captain if you would like a special tool make, or if you are interested in making one of your own.

We also have "Made At TinkerMill" stamps for your work, which we encourage you to use.


Equipment:

TinkerMill owns 2 Thomas Stewart electric wheels. There is also an old Thomas Stewart kick-wheel outside (it tends to wander) for purists. We also have three Artista portable wheels, one of which is usually in the travelling trailer. These are great for kids and can be taken outside and used there.

We have a table-top slab roller which requires training before use, since it can seriously injure fingers. Please do not allow children to use the slab roller. Adults may do it for them, but children may not operate it themselves.

We have a casting table which requires fixing. Please contact the shop captain for information about how you can help.


Clean-Up And Disposal[edit]

Nota Bene: Wet cleanup is required in all areas of the pottery. It is absolutely imperative that no dust be kicked up. Pottery dust can contain free silica, which is harmful to lungs and electronic equipment. We do have a small shop-vac which can be used for minor/quick clean up of small spaces. Anyone who takes it upon themselves to mop the floor will be considered a hero and given all the honors due thereto.

Care of Tools and Brushes: Please thoroughly wash all tools and brushes, including handles of same, in clean water. Dry them immediately afterwards. There are rags on the second-to-top shelf of the glaze cabinet for this purpose. It often helps to clean tools if you put a teaspoon-full of Epsom Salts in the water you are using to clean the tools. This breaks up clay particles. Remember, the ferules on brushes will crack and loosen (due to the expansion of wooden handles) if brushes are left sitting in water; loop and other tools will rust. Never leave brushes or tools sitting in water.

Disposal of clay water and waste: Clay water can be disposed of by dumping on the gravel part of the parking lot. On absolutely no account whatsoever may anyone put clay water down the sink in the main space.

Disposal of waste clay and clay trimmings Under the table by the window are 5-gallon buckets for clay scraps. Clay that has been used and has no contaminants in it can be put back in the bag from which you took it, but very dry scraps should go in the bucket marked for that particular kind of clay, so that we can recycle it.

Disposal of Glaze, brush water, and glaze cups/jars Please allow glaze water to evaporate (put it outside under the trailer) so that the remaining glaze can be disposed of as solid waste. Water containing glazes and/or glaze ingredients should be considered semi-hazardous waste and disposed of properly once dry.