705 Foster Street  Durham, NC 27701
(919) 530-8355 ::
Studio Guidelines

Studio Guidelines

About These Guidelines

At Claymakers we strive to keep the studio clean and artwork flowing smoothly through the process from raw clay to finished piece. To do so, we need everyone's help in minimizing clay dust and maximizing the efficiency of studio operations. Each individual who works in the studio contributes to this process.

Preserving the Sinks

  • Do not wash lumps of clay down the sink.
  • Wash off your tools, buckets, and wheel skirts in the buckets that are located in the sinks so that all clay slop goes into the buckets. Buckets are designed so that water will overflow into the sinks while clay goes to the bottom.

Minimizing Clay Dust

  • Use a damp sponge to wipe clay dust off of bisque ware; do not blow on your pots.
  • Clean up carefully (see below), with particular attention to wiping up wet clay and glaze spills thoroughly and wiping down surfaces with a clean (rinsed) sponge.
  • Throw away newspaper after it has been used under your work.
  • Throw away used clay bags.
  • Periodically sponge off your own storage shelf
  • Take home and wash your dirty towels and aprons.

Keeping the Studio Clean

  • Put your things away. Return studio items to their proper places.
  • Keep areas under the worktables clean and organized.
  • Throw away used newspaper.
  • Wipe off the rims of containers for patinas, slips, glazes, etc., before closing.
  • Make sure all slip, glaze, and other containers are closed and put away.
  • Wash down all of the areas where your have worked, including: 
  • Wheel  
    Wedging table, wall, and floor around your wheel
    Work tables
    Sink area
    Glaze room tables

Glazing and Firing

  • Place work that is ready to be bisqued on the cart marked “greenware.” Set it as high up and as far back as it will fit. This helps us to rotate and fire work fairly. Greenware can be placed on the cart as soon as it is finished. It does not need to be dry. We will not load it until it is ready. Some selection is made on the basis of height of width, and dryness, in order to load the kiln efficiently, so remember that if you make large and/or irregularly shaped pieces, there may be some delay fitting them in
  • Slips and terra sigillatas are available downstairs and in the upstairs studio for use on greenware. Rolling carts are available for transporting work between the upstairs studio and the glaze room.
  • Pick up your bisqued work from the “bisqueware” carts promptly. Each piece will be marked with the month it was fired. If the shelves are too crowded, we will remove pieces that have been on the cart for more than a month. Do not ask us to help you find pots that you have left for a month and more. We do not assume responsibility for keeping your bisqued and glazed pots indefinitely.
  • Place glazed work on the appropriate shelf: cone 04, cone 6, or cone 9. Putting your work on the incorrect shelf can cause problems ranging from underfired pots to clay melt-downs.
  • Wipe all glaze off of the bottom of your pot. Leave at least 1/8 - ¼ inch area above the bottom of the pot unglazed, depending on the glaze you are using. If you unsure how much the glaze runs, leave ¼ inch.
  • Layered glazes often run dramatically. If you have put one glaze over another, make sure that layering stops 2 inches above the bottom of your work.
  • Clay meltdowns and glaze runs can ruin kiln shelves. While we will do our best to catch insufficiently cleaned pots, we cannot always catch them and we cannot tell what glazes have been crossed and are at risk of running. You will be charged appropriate replacement costs for shelves that are damaged or ruined due to glaze runs or clay meltdowns.
  • Do not open or unload any kiln unless you have been specifically instructed to do so.