Image Work Days - One way to get projects done and have fun doing them!
By Janet on October 23, 2010

If you’re like me, you have a lot of items on your To Do list. For the past five years, some friends and I have been able to cross a lot of them off by helping each other with projects one day a month.

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Image Preparing Clay Pots for Winter Weather
By Janet on September 18, 2010

One of the advantages of living here in California is year-round gardening. But in my area we still have occasional temperatures down to 18 degrees Farenheit, and several months of below-freezing temperatures at night. Many of my large planters contain perennials that need to stay in place year-round, and I've had to figure out ways to help both plants and pots survive winter conditions. Some of the things I've learned may help you, too!

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Image What is “Vitrification”, and Why Should I Care?
By Janet on June 14, 2010

We container gardeners are always on the prowl for the perfect ceramic pot. We want it to last a long time, and provide a healthy environment for each plant. Of course, one of the most critical elements for container plants is soil moisture retention. You already know that plain terra-cotta pots have to be watered frequently, but that pots with a shiny glazed surface can go longer between waterings. Ever wonder why? It's all determined by the pot's clay chemistry. High-fired stoneware and porcelain clays contain large amounts of silica. When these clay bodies become vitrified (or “mature”), they are no longer porous.

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Image Adventures in Glaze Firing
By Janet on April 5, 2010

Unloading a glaze kiln is always an adventure! One of the things I hear most from students is, "Why didn't my pot turn out the color I expected?". Here are some variables to consider:

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Image Applying Terra Sigillata and Burnishing
By Pauline Mitchell on March 20, 2010

Hi, I am Pauline Mitchell here to tell you about my favorite surface for sculpture. I learned to work with clay, specifically sculpture, as an apprentice to a woman sculptor in Puerto Ordaz, Venezuela. She never uses glaze---only her secret formula. She has never shared it with anyone. I would like to share Terra Sigillata with you as an alternative to glazing.

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Electric kiln bisque-firing cycle
By Janet on March 15, 2010

If you've never fired a kiln before, it can be pretty intimidating. Here are the basic steps for firing a bisque load in an electric kiln.

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