Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Classes and Workshops

Hello All,

Welcome to My Blog. Well, I try to check this as much as I can and answer any question as fast as I can. My focus right now is to continue to pit-fire and teach. From time to time I do some utilitarian ware but only when I need some things at home.

Classes for Classes for Spring 2012
I will be teaching a Wednesday evening class from 7-10pm. Intermediate and Advanced throwing.

This term we will be focusing on things we can use and then alter. Since most of the people that take my classes are "altered", I thought this would fit right in.

Friday Night: RAKU. These classes focus on form and firing techniques. First half of class will focus on throwing and hand building instruction to prepare pieces for firing. Second half of class will focus on glazing and firing. People typically bring food to share or we order pizza for those that didn't have time to eat! Go ahead...Bring Good sweets, mostly eats and chocolates. But nothing is required except you! Evening class: 7 - 10pm

Check out the Civic Arts links on the right and sign up!

You can send any questions to me at or you can post here on my blog

Mendocino Workshop 2012.

2012 Mendocino Art Center, Mendocino, CA: October 20 - 21 -- Saturday and Sunday.

This is going to be a great weekend on the coast. We'll take people from" where they are at" in this moment of their clay experience and then move from there. This will be a combination of 3 separate workshops into one. Included: segments of my "Anyone Can Center" in less than 15 seconds (seriously) and larger pieces of clay; Getting it off your bottom; and my "Pots with Parts". For pots with parts you will need a paint gun heat gun. You can get them at Home Depot or Ace...Get a good will last for years...No, hair dryers wont work very well...

This workshop is scheduled for Sat and Sun October 20, 21...However, if enough people request, we can start the workshop on Friday at noon. Let them know. I'll be there anyway!

This will be non stop (except to eat) hands on, individual focus...No fear...~

Bring a multi - plug so we can just plug this in near your wheel.

Materials List
- A towel
- Water bucket (some here)
- Your own tools (there are no tools here)
- wire, pin tool, stick tool, all your tools!!!
- Heat gun if you want to put pieces together quickly
- Band Aids…you never know!
- Your own bats if you want to take wet pots home.
- Bat pins for some wheels…
- Good Chocolate…no skimping
- Bring a multi-plug strip for the heat guns (Ace hardware or Home Depot) Get a - good one…$50. You’ll have it for years and you’ll want it….

Good chocolate a must...

I'll bring a coffee maker for the mornings. I'll bring a combo of Peet's (the Major Dickerson) and Star Bucks (espresso)
Also some bagels and cream cheese and jam...
Want more? Bring more!

The Mendocino Workshop 2010 was canceled due to a motorcycle accident!

The Mendocino Workshop
2009 went well and I met a ton of wonderful people. It always makes me smile when I see people learn how to center a 3 pound piece of clay in less than 15 seconds!

The October of 09 workshop in Mendocino, "Honing Your Skills"
pictures. Sorry, server down.

Travel to the wonderful California Coast to work and play in the fabulous Mendocino Area.


At March 12, 2007 at 1:25:00 PM PDT, Blogger Michael said...

I'm starting to do pit firing in my backyard in Minnesota. I've noticed that the colors and finishes you get are different than other work I've seen. Is there a special way that you fire? Is your pit different?
Paul Olson

At March 12, 2007 at 1:30:00 PM PDT, Blogger Michael said...

Hi Paula,
I'll have to check why you were not able to login but I've posted your question through my login.
This is a wide open question as you may suspect! Everyone does their firings differently. I don't feel like I do anything different than other people doing pitfiring.
I like circle pits but rectangles work just fine. I do take particular interest in the saw dust I use. From what you described in your e-mail, perhaps your bisque temperature is too high.

At June 13, 2007 at 9:44:00 PM PDT, Blogger Forcia said...

Hello Michael -

Since it is too late for the Spring
session, when will the next session
of classes begin? I am a sculptor,
but would love to learn to throw.


Elizabeth Burchfield
Emeryville CA

At June 14, 2007 at 8:22:00 AM PDT, Blogger Michael said...

Hello Elizabeth,
Well, so much for checking the blog everyday!

Classes start the last week in June. There are several beginning classes. Summer term I'll be teaching three classes:

Tuesday Nite 7-10: Intermediate/Advanced

Wednesday Nite 7-10: Beginners ONLY

Friday Nite: Raku

Monday Nite there is a beginning class at the same time with Lesley Jensen. It's a great class too.

Check out the Civic Arts website which is linked from my site or stop by. The facilities are very good. I moved my studio from Berkeley/Emeryville and I'm exclusively working out of Walnut Creek. I hope this helps


At June 16, 2007 at 1:32:00 PM PDT, Blogger Forcia said...

Thanks for the information! Hopefully there is still some space. I'll try for your class, and if no room, will try one of the others.



At November 11, 2007 at 12:17:00 PM PST, Blogger Forcia said...

Hi Michael,

Have not run into you lately at the
studio, and was wondering how things were going.

Will you be participating in the
Holiday Ceramics Show/Sale in December?

Hope all is well!


At September 4, 2009 at 8:45:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am planning to bisque fire this weekend and some item are designed for a pit fire later. Can you recommend what cone I should go to on my bisque. I usually fire bisque to cone 06.

At September 4, 2009 at 8:46:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

sorry, I neglected to sign my question with my name, it's Lorraine.

At September 4, 2009 at 9:51:00 PM PDT, Blogger Michael said...

Hello Lorraine,

I bisque at 015 for my pit fired pieces. You can squeak up to 012-011 but these temps create different results. If you've burnished or used terra sig, 09 is the absolute highest before it starts to leave.
Hope that helps.


At November 13, 2009 at 3:38:00 AM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At January 29, 2010 at 11:56:00 AM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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