- Judith Kenigson Kristy, Captain
- Emily Hollis, Co-Captain
- Doug Stevenson, Co-Captain
Make Nashville Ceramics Studio Policies
These policies and studio notifications will be posted in the Ceramics studio on a bulletin board or white board.
Ceramics Studio authorization requirements:
- Members and visitors who have not already done so must sign the Make Nashville (MN) liability waiver before entering and using the Ceramics Studio.
- Members and visitors are requested to sign into the Ceramics studio upon entering. The sign in sheet will be posted at the entrance to the studio.
- Before using studio equipment, members and visitors must be authorized to do so by the Ceramics Studio Captain or Co-Captain (“CSC and CSCC”), to ensure they know how to properly and safely handle the equipment. Names and contact data for the CSC and CSCC can be found on this Wiki and will be posted in the studio, as well as on slack. In the following, “CSC” shall refer to both the captain and the co-captain or any person designated by the captain.
- Minors: Persons under the age of 14 must be accompanied by an adult who has been previously authorized by the CSC to use studio equipment. Minors may use equipment and materials only under the supervision of the authorized adult.
- The MN Ceramic Studio will fire CONE 6 (^6) CLAY AND GLAZES ONLY, due to the possibility of damage to the kiln, with the exception that Cone 06 (^06) clay/glazes may occasionally be used for some classes and activities where a quick turnaround is necessary. For this exception, the permission of the CSC is required and items must be carefully labeled. (Studio users should be made aware of the difference between CONE 6, and CONE 06 during their orientation!) 'No clay of any kind may be brought into the studio without explicit permission from the CSC; documentation of the kind and provenance of the clay may be required.
- Permission to use unidentified or non-Cone 6 clay in the Ceramics Studio will be given only after consultation and authorization by the CSC.
Materials and equipment use and storage:
Clay: All clay brought in (with prior permission) to the studio must be very clearly labeled with the owner’s name, the clay name/number and its cone designation written on the clay bag or other container. (Example: BMIX5, Cone 6, JudithK.) It should be stored in the member’s tote or a labeled locker or taken home.
Equipment: All Ceramics Studio equipment is to remain in the studio area. Small tools, books, stamps and other decorating items must be cleaned and returned to their original location after each use.
Personal items and tools: Members shall store all personal materials, tools, and equipment in their own totes or lockers; such items must be clearly marked with the owner’s name or initials. Visitors shall take these items with them when they leave. Since Make Nashville is a community resource, materials and tools that have no label are subject to be used by all users of the studio.
Glazes, chemicals, stains and underglazes: These materials are for general use unless labeled as personal property. Since they are expensive and their use is difficult to quantify, it is suggested that users might periodically make small donations of money or replacement materials so we can keep a variety of such materials in stock. Please consult the CSC or MN Treasurer (Joel Lindsey) to make donations to a fund designated for Ceramics Studio materials.
Donations of articles: Make Nashville appreciates all donations, but since space is limited, donated articles should not be brought into the studio until the CSC has approved the item.
Project storage and ownership:
- Greenware, bisqued ware, glazed ware and completed projects shall be labeled, dated and stored appropriately. (See Procedures.)
- Since shelf space is limited, finished projects, “abandoned” projects, and any unlabeled item must be claimed and removed from the studio area within 30 days of the date of completion or abandonment. (A date will be put on unlabeled articles found in the studio by the CSC.)
- After the 30 day period, unclaimed articles are subject to be claimed or removed by Make Nashville. If proper labeling by the creator/owner is present, MN will attempt to contact the owner of the project/item before removal.
- Clay and glazes may contain minerals and toxic elements that are harmful if inhaled, ingested or introduced through the skin. Studio users shall use appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), and, if needed, shall request training when handling clay and glazes, as well as when involved with heat (kilns, heat guns, blowtorches), flames (blowtorches, raku kiln, reduction cans, barrel firings, etc.), sharp tools and large equipment.
- Cleaning clay and glazes off surfaces should usually be done with water to avoid mineral dust in the studio air. (See Procedures.)
NO ONE may load or activate kilns or use any flammable materials without prior training and explicit authorization by the CSC.
- Projects will be fired only if: 1) they are bone dry, 2) they are properly labeled and 3) the bottom of the piece is free of glaze. PIECES NOT MEETING THESE REQUIREMENTS WILL NOT BE FIRED
- Members and workshop participants may have their projects fired without a fee; non-members shall pay a per-piece fee for firing. Check with the CSC for firing schedules and fees.
- For reasons of health, safety and appearance, all studio users shall participate in keeping all studio areas clean EACH AND EVERY TIME they are used. The CSC may establish a duty roster to accomplish this if users do not routinely comply with this rule.
- No tools, materials or projects may be left out (i.e. on tables, wheels, counters, etc.) in the studio after their owner has left the studio. Exceptions can be made with prior approval.
- The sinks in the studio areas are for use with ceramics projects use only. If you see someone from another shop using CS sinks please inform them that they should use the general duty sink.
Be community-minded: Make Nashville constantly strives to ensure that the Makerspace is a caring, creative and supportive community. If you need help with anything, please feel free to seek advice from other MN members or the studio captain and co-captain(s); we are happy to provide support when needed. You can also post your question in the #Ceramics channel on Slack where someone will be happy to help you with whatever you need.
Be sensitive: When asking for guidance, please be sensitive to others’ time and availability. If someone is in the middle of a project, it might be important to wait until they are not deeply concentrating on their work before you try to get their attention.
Be respectful: Studio users shall be respectful of others’ projects and equipment. If something has a name or initials on it, do not use it without the owner’s permission.
Be alert: CS users are expected to know and comply with the Make Nashville Code of Conduct (available on the Wiki and posted in the Makerspace). If you feel unsafe, or uncomfortable, or believe that someone has violated the Code of Conduct, please inform an MN Officer immediately. Please do not approach the person who has allegedly committed a violation nor comment on the conduct in public or in a public platform (such as Slack). Make Nashville takes all reports of harassment and other Code of Conduct violations very seriously and will quickly investigate the matter with the goal or resolving it to everyone’s satisfaction.
If you have any questions and/or concerns about anything regarding the studio’s policies, contact the Make Nashville Ceramics Studio Captain or a Co-captain and they will help you.
Ceramics Studio Captain: Judith Kenigson, firstname.lastname@example.org, 615-948-5444
Co-Captain: Emily Hollis, email@example.com, 678-446-6690
Make Nashville Ceramics Studio Procedures
This is a general guide about how we believe the studio can best be used efficiently, safely and fairly by everyone. If you are in doubt about anything, or think we should change or add something, please let us know!
Materials and equipment:
- Cone 6 clay is available for purchase in the ceramics studio as well as from a few local suppliers - ask the CSC for guidance about clay before buying it.
- Clay, paints, glazes and glaze chemicals belonging to MN (i.e. that do not have a personal ID marked on them) may be used by members without cos; however, it is suggested that a small donation be made periodically (whether money or replacement materials) in order to keep a variety in stock. Ask the CSC for the appropriate amount. If it appears that some material is running low, or if you have a request for a particular material, please inform the CSC as soon as possible so it can be restocked or obtained.
- Stamps, molds, tools, equipment and storage materials in the studio that are marked “MN” or “JKK” are for all members and workshop participants to use freely. If there is a different personal ID mark on an item, please ask the owner before using. If you don’t know who the item belongs to, take a photo and post on #ceramics.
- Please wipe down the wedging table and its cutting wire (and other wire cutters), as well as work tables, immediately after use. Hard, dried bits of clay left on those surfaces can get into other peoples’ fresh clay and create problems for slabbing or throwing.
- Wheels are used on a first-come, first-served basis, unless otherwise labeled. If the wheel you want to use is by appointment only, use the schedule posted in the studio to reserve it.
- Make Nashville does not provide bats; please bring your own, mark them with your ID and store them in your tote -- or leave them on the shelf above the wheels if it’s OK for everyone else to use them.
- After using a pottery wheel, clean the wheel, splash pan, chair and surrounding areas. Remove bat pins if necessary; store them together w/the hex wrench in the red plastic cup on the shelf over the wedging table. Wipe off the fool pedal and raise it to the wheel table.
- After trimming, throw all clay scraps into the “reclaimed clay” garbage can beside the sink; leave the wheel and splash pan clean of dried clay residue.
- Make sure to turn off the wheel “OFF” before leaving.
- General Storage: Store work in progress on the appropriate metal rolling cart shelves. (Look for signage.)
- Greenware: The studio supplies wood boards, plastic sheets and paper (telephone directory) sheets for storing greenware. Do not put wet greenware directly on wood. Ask the CSC how to cover your greenware to avoid premature drying. Attach a clothes peg with your initials on it to each project so all pieces are identified at all times. MN cannot take responsibility for unidentified projects.
- After trimming leather-hard pieces, be sure to write your name or initials on the foot of the piece. All work must be easy to identify so nothing gets lost.
- When greenware is ready to fire (bone dry) move it to the appropriate metal shelf. (If you don’t the CSC may move it for you.)
- After items have been bisque-fired, they will be unloaded onto the shelf identified as pieces to be glazed.
- Bisqued ware for glazing must be waxed and/or or cleared of all glaze on the bottom of the piece (to about 1/8th inch above the foot) so that no glaze material can touch the kiln shelf. Work that is not free of glaze on the bottom will not be fired. Special care must be taken with “flowing” and “running” glazes. Check with a CSC about this.
- When placing glazed pieces ready for firing on the designated metal shelving unit, allow appropriate spacing. Avoid touching/bumping other glazed ware with your hands or your glazed piece; raw glaze is fragile and can pop off when disturbed.
- If any glaze has melted from a fired piece onto a kiln shelf, the owner of the ceramic piece shall be responsible for removing the glaze from the shelf. See the CSC for instructions about this. Chisels, hammers and grinding materials/equipment belonging to MN and used for this purpose should be used within the woodworking shop, not brought to the ceramics studio.
- Specific glaze colors and custom glazes may be created upon request. If you want a particular color to be mixed and/or wish to participate in the creation of a glaze, ask the CSC to arrange for a time to do this. If certain chemicals need to be purchased consult with the CSC about the budget for those items.
- Clay and glazes contain minerals and toxic elements that are harmful if inhaled, ingested or introduced through the skin. Therefore:
- Use a particle mask when scraping, sanding, brushing or sweeping dry clay.
- Use a particle mask and nitrile gloves when measuring/mixing dry and wet glaze materials.
- When glazing ceramics ware, rinse hands and wipe up spillage frequently.
- Avoid raising clay/glaze dust into the air: mopping floors is preferable to sweeping; wiping surfaces with a wet sponge is preferable to brushing.
- Always use eye protection when chiselling or grinding glazed surfaces
- Use caution when placing and retrieving items from high shelves.
- Keep extension cords, tools and other objects out of walk-through areas to prevent falls. If it is necessary to run cables across the floor, ask the CSC to arrange for the cables to be covered with tape or wood panels.
- Lift heavy objects properly (bent knees, straight back) or ask for help.
- To avoid cuts, be cautious when using metal ribs, trimming tools and needle tools.
- When participating in raku firing, wear only natural-fiber clothing (cotton, linen, wool, never synthetic) that covers arms and legs completely. In addition, use a protective apron, goggles or face mask, gloves, arm covers and long tongs when retrieving hot items. Avoid breathing fumes from raku kiln or reduction cans - use a gas mask. Use dark goggles if you need to look into the raku kiln.
- Injuries: there is a first aid kit in the Ceramics Studio; it is located in the left drawer of the wooden sink unit. In the event of a serious injury, notify a shop captain and/or a MN officer (Board member or Executive Director) immediately to ensure proper medical procedures. In the event the person injured is under 18, notify a shop captain or MN officer who can contact parents or guardians. If the injury was due to equipment malfunction, falling object or other facility problem, please notify a shop captain or an MN officer immediately so we can remedy the cause and prevent further injury.
- If you are ever in a situation where you feel unsafe, or have concerns about the conduct of another member or visitor, contact the CSC and/or MN leadership immediately and they will help you resolve the problem.
Studio cleanliness and maintenance:
- Users should plan in advance to have enough time to thoroughly clean the areas in which they have been working before they have to leave the area.
- Please make sure to clean and store tools/equipment away appropriately; wipe down all areas you have used; mop up or wet-wipe up clay splashed on floor, walls or mirrors; wash splash pans, sponges, molds, etc.; empty reclaimable clay into the garbage cans provided for that purpose; seal off air entry areas on the pug mill.
- No work in progress or tools are to be left on work surfaces overnight except when requested and authorized.
- ALL users are expected to contribute to keeping general areas (floors, equipment, table surfaces, shelving, etc.) clean and orderly. This is YOUR creative space. Let’s keep it nice!
- When you have items ready for firing, place them on the designated metal shelving.
- Inform the CSC if you need the piece fired by a specific date so we will know a firing needs to be scheduled. *Generally, if no specific date is requested, firing will occur when there are enough pieces to fill the kiln. We will try to keep a firing schedule posted in the studio.
In case of damage…
- If you accidentally damage another member’s tool or project, notify them immediately. If you don’t know who it belongs to, post a picture of the item in the #ceramics slack channel.
- If equipment is damaged or unusable, please notify the CSC right away, directly or via the #ceramics channel on Slack.
If you have any questions and/or concerns about anything regarding the studio’s procedures, contact the Make Nashville Ceramics Studio Captain or a Co-captain and they will help you.
Ceramics Studio Captain: Judith Kenigson, firstname.lastname@example.org, 615-948-5444
Co-Captain: Emily Hollis, email@example.com, 678-446-6690
- Slab roller
- Pottery wheels (currently 7)
- Digital kiln
- Raku kiln
- Large assortment of "shaping" materials for handbuilding:
- Slump molds, hump molds
- Forms for trays, bowls, plates, platters
- Variety of Cookie cutters
- Large assortment of decorating materials
- Sprig molds
- Texture and pattern rollers
- Glazing materials:
- Commercial glazes
- In-house glazes
- Chemicals (large assortment) for creating custom glazes
- Glazing tools
- Raku tools:
- Tongs, aprons, hi-heat gloves
- Saggar tins
- Horsehair, feathers
- Naked raku slip
- Combustible materials and cans
Clays (variety of commercially prepared clay bodies)
Glazes (variety of commercially prepared glazes, glaze powders and MN custom glazes)
Glaze chemicals (for making custom glazes)
Underglazes: variety of colors, small jars.
- mocha diffusion slip
- naked raku slip
Materials for raku work:
- raku glazes
- metallic glaze elements
- wood chips and sawdust
- organic material for saggar firing
- aluminum foil
- ferric chloride