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Summer in the Studio

Head's up! This is a long one, it's been a while but there's lots of good info for everyone so please read!

There is no doubt it's summer! When you are in the studio, please use the up and down arrows to adjust the temperature. It's that time of year when we need to be leaving the units on 80 when you leave so it isn't overwhelmingly hot in the building. Should you come in and find the units set on a lower setting, check to see if it looks like we have a camp or other class or if there is clearly work in progress and the AC has been left on for someone returning or coming in to work soon. Fridays in June we will have the AC on starting in the afternoon to cool the space down for B'Nai Israel services so if you come in and it's cooled down, that is why. Another clue to the units being left on on purpose is if both are set to the same temperature. If you remember you have forgotten to turn it back to 80, please shoot the group a text so someone can go by and adjust the temperature in there.

The summer camp calendar is in the clay studio on the table. We're adding events to this so you can know when things may be happening in the building. I am working with clay artists to schedule some workshops for this fall and winter. If there is anyone you know who teaches, please reach out with their names and info.

Please be sure to introduce yourself to our newest members, Sarah Barclay is a Tuesday night member (for now! Once Henry is bigger we hope she will join as a full member!) and Natalie Schwager is a new member. If you know anyone who is interested in joining, have them get in touch with me! FYI- (Judy and Lynn have both stepped away for the time being but we all know both of them get lured back at some point!)

Kiln firings have been regular, as soon as there is enough work on the shelves, either Liz Blalock or myself are loading and firing. Everyone tends to slow down in the summer with travel etc but we are watching so if you're still making work, we are still firing. Place ready items on the correct shelves. Left shelves are greenware to be bisqued, right shelves are glazed work ready for firing. Please place pieces all the way on the back of the shelves, closest to the kilns to make it easier for us to load them. We load as we can fit pieces in. However, if we know something has missed a firing, it will have priority fitting in the next load. As always, let us know if you have pieces that have a deadline and we will do our best to accommodate your schedule. The more advance we have the better though! We will place work ready to be glazed or picked up on the rolling cart- by the way, there is one piece of greenware on this cart, if it's yours and you want it fired, please place it on the correct shelf. If it's meant for reclaim or not getting fired, please get it to the correct spot.

Glazes... we should be starting to move back into the house next Monday. Just shy of ten very long months! Once we have started that process, the things which were accidentally placed in front of the raw materials in my garage will be moved and I can start replenishing the glazes. I know several are getting lower than we usually let them get but there's not much I can do about that! FYI, Goodrich Cranberry, Raw Sienna, Clear Blue, and Op Egg will retire as they are used up. I am always open to new glaze recipe suggestions so please feel free to text me what you have found or send it on Pinterest. is an excellent place to look for glaze recipes. Just remember that we fire to Cone 5/6 NOT 05/06 and we fire in an oxidation environment. What does this mean to those of you not deep in glaze chemistry? Well, it means that reds are hard to get and be sure to double check temperature ranges on recipes. Plus, this information is on all the glazy recipes. Are you interested in learning to mix glazes? Let me know and I'll be happy to show you!

I have started displaying the glaze test tiles. I hope this well help those of you interested in layering to get some inspiration. Please remember when glazing to thoroughly wipe the bottoms of your pieces and to leave a reasonable margin from the base of pieces so things don't stick to shelves. If you find your pieces seem to stick a lot or drip etc, please roll a thin slab to fire work on. These "cookies" do not need to be bisque fired ahead of a glaze firing but they do need to be completely dry. Just place one under your pieces which need extra protection.

We are exploring options for a white base clay for the studio which is not as expensive as Laguna's B-Mix has gotten. We know everyone loves B-Mix, it is a lovely clay to work with. It also costs us three times what it did in 2020. I am sourcing a wholesale or at least a deeply discounted source for Amaco A-Mix. This is a reasonably priced clean white clay. I've used it in the past with very nice results. I will be gifting each of you with a bag of this soon to test and try out. For those of you who use Amaco glazes, you may enjoy this clay because its the clay used in their formulations of their glazes. This means your glazes will end up looking like the pictures on the website and the bottles. We are also looking into an Alligator Clay white with grog for those of you who are handbuilders or those who like to throw with grog. If you are actively reclaiming clay, mixing these white clays (or any cone 5/6 clay, no matter the color) will not affect your reclaim other than to possibly give you some glaze surprises. I have test tiles made to use on our studio glazes so let's hope those are compatible!

Speaking of reclaim, we will be working our way through personal reclaim Thursday starting at 1:00 if anyone wants to come learn the process. Emily, Darlene and I have several buckets which are ready to go, if anyone else has reclaim which is a good consistency or slightly wet, or if you want to learn how to reclaim clay, come join us for this smelly, messy, fun. And it can be smelly, fair warning.

Beginning Wheel class with Patricia begins July 15th. If you're interested in getting on or back on the wheel, please register for this one! We are hoping to get two more students at least registered. I need a hand with some wheel maintenance before her class begins, please let me know if you can be available to help me out.

I am looking for someone who is able to keep our shed on their property. It is considered a temporary structure and in Natchez does not need to be permitted, according to Atkins Lumber. It is 8x10 and currently at the top of my driveway if you are brave enough to go past the dumpster to see it. I will be listing the house for sale and would like to have a new home for the shed asap if at all possible, please let me know if you can help out with this need.

Finally, I would like to schedule a member dinner. Please text with dates you are available or know you definitely will not be available so we can try to coordinate this soon! Tuesday nights are good for most of you but speak up if another night is better. How does June 18 or 25 look for everyone?

Alright then, I know this was a long one, thanks for seeing it through to the end!!!


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