Naturemuse Ceramic studio is home to ceramic and visual artist Fiona Cuthbert O’Meara. It is where she lives and practices, alongwith teaching classes in her well-appointed space.
Classes are tailored for the absolute beginner or for those with some existing experience with making ceramics.
At certain times throughout the terms, enrolled students have the opportunity to be involved in various atmospheric firings such as:
When you look at a piece of hand-made pottery it can be hard to understand just how much love and attention has gone into making that one piece.
My students often hear me say, “there’s a month in every pot”. There is a very detailed process on how we achieve your perfect piece. Fiona helps with each stage of the process in easy steps!
From selecting the best clay for that one piece, to the wedging and kneading that it takes to prepare your clay for wheel throwing to the actual process of wheel throwing itself (which takes many years to perfect) requires a finely tuned skill set.
Even after the piece is formed or “thrown” on the wheel head it must be carefully partially dried and “turned or trimmed” to finish the bottom of the piece so it is both functionally and aesthetically pleasing. The pottery is then dried slowly so as it is bone dry before going into the kiln.
After the work is dried thoroughly before being fired for the first time (it is called the bisque fire), where the water is driven out of the piece (chemically bound water, even if you can’t see or feel it, it’s still there) some changes occur in the clay body at very high temperatures which transform the clay into “ceramic”.
If we do not take great care at this stage we can have problems with the unwanted generation of steam, which can cause cracking and occasionally unwanted explosions in the kiln.
This first firing allows the work to be more robust so as we can go about the final stages of glazing and re-firing the work to a higher temperature to actually finish the piece so it’s ready for use.
The bisque fired clay is still nice and porous enabling the surface to drink up the glazes so that they adhere to the lining of the pottery so they can be fired again and form a thin layer of melted glass onto the surface. This final firing ensures that the pottery piece is “vitrified” or water tight, so it reaches a stage of hardness and maturity that prolongs its shelf life and renders it useable for every-day use.
Fiona helps to get you started on the exciting path to making your very own pottery.
She will help you not only begin to develop a valuable skill set, but to explore your own unique artistic expression as you learn and develop skills and tap into your own inner artist, no matter what the outcome.
Prerequisites required; Ceramic Glazing 101 & Wheel Throw workshop must be completed.
Commence anytime based on availability, however, there is a waiting list for this class.
When you purchase a ticket, you acknowledge and agree that:
Once you’ve secured your spot, in addition to your tax receipt, you’ll receive an email from Fiona acknowledging your registration.
If you haven’t received the confirmation email within a couple of hours of your purchase, please check your junk mail.
Fiona will be in contact a week before classes start to provide you with instructions and what to bring.