Reminders and Refreshers: Xmas, Kids, Class Clay and damp bisque (ceramics 6.28.21)

Plan your projects
You’re not going to want to hear it but Christmas will be here before you know it. Be SMART and start making your Christmas presents ahead of time. Every year, usually during late November/early December I witness the face of a disappointed potter during a conversation that usually goes like this:

Them: Hey, have you seen my <insert random item- baby doll head with dog feet, mug, ring holder, nun shaped marijuana pipe etc>?
Me: No, I think it’s still on bisque/glaze shelf.
Them: Ugh! It’s been there for, like, 1 week. What’s the hold up? I need it.
Me: Well, the kiln team does their best to accommodate all of the pieces and do as much as they can but they have jobs, families, travel etc. Also, everyone else is trying to get their pieces in too AND we’ve had lots of classes.
Them: Is there any way I can get my stuff in, I mean, I’m heading out to for <insert # amount of weeks>.
Me: Sorry. Nope. We strive to be fair and do our best to have realistic expectations.
Them: Scowls and sadness abound.


Likewise, the kiln 1222 is currently down and will be for another 2 weeks as we wait on our committee meeting and to vote on purchasing of kiln elements.

If you bring your kid with you to work the wheels or do anything else in the ceramics area, you MUST:
-fill out a waiver for them.
-accompany them at all times (if under 15).
-be a member.

“But my 12 year old is mature/makes straight A’s/volunteers with old people/rescues kittens!” Doesn’t matter, you need to be there with them.
“But I want to do wood shop!” Nice! I like that you branch out but you still need to be with your child.

Class Clay
Teachers!! Love that you are all teaching! It’s great but it is your responsibility to let committee leadership know if we’re running low on class clay. So…from here on out, please check before your classes and report back to myself/Monika or April to let us know that we’re running low. I purchased a house and live further away than I used to, my DMS activity is limited but if I can’t grab some clay, I can beg or bribe someone who can. :slight_smile:

Shelving issues
There are no extenuating circumstances (lack of ceramic tools/glaze/classes etc/europe travel/inlaws came to visit and made me miserable/ate some bad sushi) or negotiations on the storage of your items on the works in progress shelves (unless you contact committee leadership and ask them to rewrite your date tag. The committee does not acknowledge notes left on your pieces. We go by the dates that are attached to your pieces. If you have questions on this, please review our shelving policy.

Lastly, your ceramic piece needs to be BONE DRY in order to be on the bisque kiln shelves or it will sit there and dry until the next firing…potentially 3-4 days away or even the next one.

Why? Because this is a community kiln and all members are expected to strive for best practices.

What is bone dry and why is it a best practice for us? Bone dry is a term used to describe the stage past leather hard. The bone dry green ware piece will be light or pale in color, feel like it’s at room temperature and feel lighter, weight-wise.
It’s a best practice because we fire all thicknesses of items and if yours is really thick and not dry, it can explode in the kiln and ruin other pieces. You can also get some major cracks and warping which is why I always say it’s better to slow dry any piece. Slow-dry means that you keep it loosely wrapped with plastic until it becomes beyond leather hard.

Instagram Youtube Potter/other dms member does it, why can’t i? You run the risk of getting cracks, warping and might even come out of the kiln with major infrastructural imperfections that can cause it be unsafe to food use.

Fine. What about candling? We have a pre heat program but we do not utilize candling method. This would add to the electric bill, add more wear and tear on our kilns and prolong the already long firing process. Your one damp piece is not a justifiable reason to change the community (30+ dms members) kiln schedules and temperatures.

Sources: How Long Does it Take for Pottery Clay to Dry? - By The Pottery Wheel


Please make one of your awesome signs for “Bone Dry only”. I will print it out and post over at the kilns. To many wet pots are being placed on the greenware shelf which have to move out of the way to get to the dry ones. :relaxed:


Here’s another reminder! Start your holiday gifts now, potters!!!