Pottery Process


Want to know what happens to your pottery after your workshop?  Pottery is a multi-stage process and requires two kiln firings, learn more below!

Greenware is the first stage of your pottery.  The clay is still wet and has moisture content and therefore has to air dry completely before the next stage.  When it's semi-dry, it is called leather hard where it has stiffened a bit and is an ideal stage for applying underglazes, final shaping and carving.

The next stage is to fire your greenware in the kiln to cone 06 (approx 1818 F).  This is called a bisque firing and the kiln takes about a full day to heat up and slow cool.  

Bisqueware will have shrunk because of all the moisture evaporating out.  It also will have hardened but still remain porous to accept glazes.

Glazes are applied to your bisqueware which gives it a glass-like surface and colour.  This makes it food safe and easier to wash. 

If you take a one-time class, the glaze will be applied for you.  If you would like to learn more about glazing and have more application options, you can take a two-day workshop where the second class you glaze your bisqueware.

After your pottery has been glazed, it goes into the kiln at cone 6 for a glaze firing.  This hotter temperature melts the silica in your glaze and turns it molten.  This glaze firing also takes about 24 hours or more to heat up to approximately 2200 F and slow cool.

The benefit of taking a Chu Chu Ceramics pottery class is that you can make a few pieces depending on the workshop you take!  For hand-building tableware, it is usually 1 large piece and a few small pieces.  In the Wheel Throwing for Two workshop you get three balls of clay to practice with and keep those that survive.

Chu Chu Classes are smaller so that everyone gets individual attention.

The focus is on quality versus quantity, the expectation is that you can finish your pieces well for high success rate results.

Because your pieces go through so many stages, pick ups will be available between 4-6 weeks.  This is to ensure that the kiln can be fully loaded and runs efficiently with other pottery classes being offered.

You will be emailed when your pieces are ready to be picked up with a schedule of dates and times.

Unfortunately outside pottery materials are not permitted as everything provided in your pottery workshop has been tested thoroughly for stability and specific kiln firing temperatures.

Although hand-washing ensures the most gentle way to clean your pottery, your pottery is safe to use in your dishwasher and microwave.

To avoid any thermo-shock cracks, do not expose your pottery to very cold temperatures and then immediately to hot temperatures (or vice versa). 

Please note as we are a small business, all students are subject to our cancellation policy.  Should your schedule change and you are no longer able to attend a class and/or workshop, we would love to welcome another attendee or guest on your behalf.

We do not offer re-booking or refunds after the 5 day cancellation policy due to any illness, personal schedule change, weather, work obligations, transportation issues or emergencies.

In some very special cases there is a late-cancellation fee in order to re-book a class that was cancelled late. Please contact us at classes@chuchu.ca for more information.

There's nothing really special you need to wear for class, however you could bring an apron or old clothes to wear if you do not want to get clay on your clothes.  Pottery clay and materials are fairly easy to wash out of clothing but all classes involve a level of messiness.

Yes, we have a hallway where you can leave your bike outside our studio space, however this is at your own discretion as we are not liable for your mode of transportation.  There is also a bike rack right outside our studio.

Handbuilding pottery classes are typical standing but chairs are available should you need one.  Wheel throwing classes are a combination of both.

Our studio is not rated as wheelchair accessible (5′ radius) but there is a chance we could accommodate, please email us for more information.

If you have any questions, please contact us at classes@chuchu.ca