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Popular Ceramics Instruction Terms

Before signing up for a ceramics class, you might want to learn some important terms that people in this industry use. That way, you can choose the instruction that pertains to your interest in ceramic pottery or sculpture.

  • Stoneware - Stoneware is a type of clay used to make pottery. The word, however, is also used when referring to clay plates, sculptures, and mugs made of clay. Stoneware pieces are usually fired once in a kiln. This makes them a relatively popular option that does not require a commercial studio. Stoneware instruction should, however, teach students how to use extremely hot kilns properly.
  • Bisque - Bisque ceramics are figurines, bowls, ornaments, or other pieces that have been fired but not painted. This allows people to customize their pottery with paints even when they do not have access to a kiln.
  • Glaze - Glazes are applied to ceramics before items are fired in a kiln. During the heating process, the glaze melds with the ceramic, making it more durable. Some glazes also contain colors that can change the appearance of a vase, bowl, or cup.
  • Ceramic Molds - Molds that allow artists to reproduce a design easily. Although the mold can reproduce a specific shape, the artist can then decide to use a variety of colors and glazes to make each piece unique.
  • Pottery Wheel - A device used to rotate clay while an artist shapes it into a specific form. Wheels are often used to make vases, bowls, plates, and other symmetrical items made of clay.
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    Laney College Ceramics Studio
    900 Fallon Street, Oakland, CA 94607
    Day, evening, and weekend classes offered in our new state-of-the-art building. Semester (16-week) classes. Four gas kilns and nine electric kilns. Creative and friendly atmosphere.
    (510) 464-3217
    Blossom Hill Crafts
    15900 Blossom Hill Rd, Los Gatos, CA 95032
    (408) 356-9035
    Clay Creation
    1125 Soquel Ave, Santa Cruz, CA 95062
    (831) 429-1645
    Potter's Studio
    637 Cedar St, Berkeley, CA 94710
    (510) 528-3286
    Ruby's Clay Studio & Gallery
    552 Noe St, San Francisco, CA 94114
    (415) 558-9819
    Sweet Spirit Ceramic Center
    1325 4th St, San Rafael, CA 94901
    (415) 482-7612
    641 San Anselmo Ave, San Anselmo, CA 94960
    (415) 456-5989
    Alpha Ceramics Supplies
    4675 Aldona Ln, Sacramento, CA 95841
    (916) 484-4424
    Pottery Studio
    632 4th St, Santa Rosa, CA 95404
    (707) 576-7102
    Petroglyph Ceramic Lounge
    2030 Douglas Blvd, Roseville, CA 95661
    (916) 772-4278
    Canyon Creek Innovations
    5041 Marcelais Rd, El Dorado, CA 95623
    (530) 642-2608

    The art of ceramics is a fun pastime for people of all ages. You can get as involved in it as you want, whether you want to do occasional ceramics painting, or make a hobby out of it, creating and firing your own clay pieces. This hard, brittle, porous material is a popular hobby whereby items are prepared, glazed, fired, dried, and painted. Learning how to create unique clay pieces takes work, and instruction is often needed for drawing, painting, and firing. This is where ceramics instruction comes in. Students can take lessons at an art studio, through private home courses, or even through online classes. Costs vary, depending on how often the lessons are and what is involved. Some ceramics instruction classes involve full pottery, drying, glazing, and painting. Others are more geared toward having fun painting a finished product. People often seek out ceramics instruction classes to learn the processes and safety techniques to create unique models. Even kids can take lessons. Many ceramics studios cater to the younger set, offering group lessons and birthday parties to teach them how to make their own sculptures. Adults can learn this art too, by getting better and better and creating figures, sculptures, and more as time goes on. Ceramics studios contain the usual equipment, such as kilns. Paint brushes, pottery wheels, and smocks are supplied as well. Students can learn various techniques, such as pinching, throwing, forming, and glazing. Interested people can also watch videos of demonstrations online to get a better sense of how to do ceramics. As one of the oldest industries on the planet, ceramics has been around since as early as 24,000 BC, when people would dig up clay, wet it, and sculpt it into animal and human figurines, firing them in kilns dug in the ground.
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