Studio Awareness

Click here for a pdf explaining Studio Awareness important information:

Do not use the kiln equipment for any other purpose except for the kiln.



"Furosiki are a type of traditional Japanese wrapping cloth that were frequently used to transport clothes, gifts, or other goods." - Wikipedia 

Download furoshiki wrapping instructions

Slab Roller

We have a new slab roller! And it requires a different technique than the old one. The new roller has a moving tabletop with a canvas attached to it. This tabletop moves through the roller, and is designed to move in either direction. The canvas attached to the tabletop should never touch clay. Instead, take one of the canvases that we used with the old slab roller, put your clay inside this canvas, then lay this canvas on the tabletop underneath the attached canvas.

It’s important that everything be smoothed out and that the moving tabletop is aligned with the fixed tabletop so that it will go through the roller straight. Then use the wheel to run your slab through the roller. If the moving tabletop starts to go crooked, gently adjust it so it is straight before finishing rolling.  As with the old slab roller, it’s important not to pound clay on the tabletop, which can knock the roller out of alignment. Use the wedging table before putting your clay in the canvas for rolling.

For a video of a roller similar to our new one, go to

Below is a series by Kenny Kicklighter called Toolbox Topics

How to trim a foot?

Question:  While I'm throwing the base, I use my needle tool to check the thickness.  Now that the clay is ready to trim, I don't want to push the needle through the leather hard clay and risk cracking.  So how can I measure the base thickness safely?

Answer:  By measuring the inside depth and outside height of your piece, you can see what the thickness is of your base before you begin.

Click on Kenny Kicklighter's document to see examples and detailed 'how to' instructions: How to Trim a Foot.pdf

Points of Interest

  •  Wait until the clay is leather hard before trimming

  • Never trim with dull tools

  • The inside shape is always the "true" shape to any piece.  When you trim, you want to trim the outside to match the shape on the inside.  Doing this will ensure even wall thickness.

  • Since the bottom always dries last, drying your piece upside down will allow the bottom to dry more evenly with the top. 

  • Also, drying your piece upside down on the rim helps to prevent warping.

  • The location of the foot is actually determined early on while you're doing the wet work. 


Question:  What are the known causes for warping?

Answer:  In general, some of the known causes for warping are: 

  • improper wedging

  • uneven moisture content
  • mishandling the clay during the wet work

  • over working the clay while throwing

  • uneven drying

  • speed drying

  • uneven firing

  • speed firing

  • using uneven or warped shelves for wet work, drying and firing 

Click on Kenny Kicklighter's document to see examples and detailed 'how to' instructions: Warping.pdf 


The Nature of Cracks

Cracks in clay can develop during the wet work, during trimming, drying, bisque firing, glaze firing and mishandling anyqhere along the way during the process.  And of course, the type of clay body you're using can make all the difference.  E.g. porcelain can still crack even when you do everything correctly.  IT's just a characteristic of porcelain.  Where as a stoneware clay body can be more forgiving.  The nature of the piece and the type of construction is also a major factor.  A lot can be said in each of these categories.  However, the category I will focus on for this "Toolbox Topic" pertains to the final firing.

Steam Burst

Use of the HPG Grinders

The HPG grinders are intended to remove small amounts of extra glaze or other imperfections in finished work. They should not be used on bisqueware, nor should they be used to remove lots of runny glaze. If your pot has a ton of runny glaze, please throw it out rather than wearing out the grinder trying to fix it. If you use the grinder, wear protective gear (eye cover is essential, respirator a good idea), use the rough wheel first, then finish with the fine wheel, and do not push too hard against the grinding wheel, it tends to leave a groove and does not improve the quality of grinding. Also, please be very careful not to damage the power cord when you are grinding or when you stop grinding. Make certain the wheels have come to a full stop before winding the cord over the grinder and putting the cover back in place.

For an explanation Click here for a pdf

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