The Clay Space

  • I just saw this post on facebook by @Vaughn inquiring about interest in pottery, and in just a matter of a few hours there is already a long list of interested people and potential new members (thank you Vaughn!!).

    I do not remember if I mentioned this to anyone but about a month ago, before I was hit by a wave of heavy life events, I went and picked up a complete working kit to set up a little pottery studio that @Kimberely referred to me. I did not even mention it here because I was busy and also did not think we would have enough room to set it up at makerspace yet. I decided to just buy them (for only 100$!) and bring them home and keep them in my basement until makerspace was ready. The supplies includes an electric wheel and an electric kiln and a box of miscelanous supplies and some books. If/when the space is ready to set up a studio I will bring them in and donate them to the space.

    I am curious how many of our existing members think that a pottery studio would be useful to them or think that this would be a positive expansion. I personally think we would grow a strong branch in our maker community if we bring in a pottery studio. Let us know what you think!

  • Classroom

    @arasbm, I think that in theory its a great idea. The question I have is where it fits in the space? I really have no idea for the size of these items and working areas required around them for the process.

    It seems like a very good response for the Facebook post, and I agree that it could bring a new group of members. I will ask ENTS specifically about some of the logistics around their pottery studio. I heard back from their email almost instantly that most of the directors will be at their hack night tuesday.

  • Design Lab

    Yes, there have been several people approaching me about the idea, and I wanted to shout out on facebook for feedback and holy cow, eh? Amazing response.

    There is a potential core group of experienced potters forming (lead by Janet Whitehead and Cheetie Moulin) that are interested in “leading the charge” on this and Ive met with them a few times here and discussed it.

    It really does have to be rigged in such a way that there is a solid core group that is willing to make the room happen with Makerspace support. I thinlk if the group can get the plan together on paper and set realistic goals, we can then make a decision on moving forward.

    Can I float the concept of potentially using the current HenHive room for this, with a view to making it happen in the next few months? If this pottery crew gels, it may be an excellent opportunity to realize a long-sought capability.

  • Design Lab

    I went ahead and shouted on facebook for interested people to come at 8pm on hacknight and lets gauge the real interest.

  • @Vaughn yes absolutely. I will be willing to give up the henhive room. For that to work we would likely need the whole room. I am not sure for @Anton has planned. I feel that we are pushing the boundaries in terms of what we can do with the space we have, but I am all for better and more efficient use of the space.

    I will have a truck next weekend to get the stuff out of my henhive room. But for now I should let people know that many of the stuff in there were donated to space by @fullmetalmaker. I will sort through some of them on Monday night and label the free stuff so people can help themselves.

    @Vaughn this is very exciting, so glad you got the ball rolling or the wheel turning in this case ;)

  • Design Lab

    It is just an idea to explore - if we could get something sustainable happening that complemented the Makerspace and increased capacity and membership that would be excellent!

  • We got this message in our info email this morning:


    I saw your post on Facebook looking for feedback on pottery interest and it triggered a couple things. I am interested workshops/classes in pottery and hope you can spearhead a community for beginner potters. Secondly, I am looking for an opportunity to be involved in a community where my interests and skillset can both be utilized. My background is marketing (desktop publishing), event planning and general executive assistant support. I like your philosophy of creating a space for the community to share their own creative ideas/skills. If you see a fit for some volunteer opportunity with my skillset, please let me know and we can chat. If not, I look forward to attending one of your workshops in the near future.

    Kind regards,

    I will sennd them an email back and point them to this thread.

  • Design Lab

    @arasbm let her know about weds at 8pm and send her my email if you want

  • Design Lab

    KMS Pottery Room capability update:

    Weds 8pm informal meeting met with a very solid showing (actually, super exciting) - it appears that a solid core of pros does exist that could easily (if they choose) to develop this capability ( a functional and well equipped pottery studio with dual kilns, proper water station w/ filter, glazing, separate classroom, etc, managed by a core of pottery professionals, hosting regular classes (free for Makerspace members, $40 for non) posted well in advance, supported, enhanced and benefited by the Kamloops MakerSpace membership).

    As it stands, certain requirements need to be surveyed:
    Can the building handle the power requirement? Two kilns on alternating 60amp circuit - one 220 outlet in 3rd floor bathrooms.
    Will insurance be a challenge?
    What benchmarks (number of classes per month, new members of MakerSpace, operational horizons, etc) can be quantified to ensure development progress in a timely manner? Design Lab integration model.

    We have an email group batting and qualifying the prelims around, before distracting the membership - I recommend we survey a tightened plan (if it passes muster) at the AGM Feb 4.

    There are so many excellent aspects to the gear, people and complimentary skills involved here - I am excited about this, but recommend a wide view. We need to ensure sustainability, a strong sub-core whose needs are met. This mission will require a shit-whack of work and rowing together, and we already have a lot on the plate.

    Frankly, I feel that the core potters involved simply MUST commit to a minimum of 2 year plan - without that minimum, quantified commitment it is too much risk for the established membership, in light of the significant and rather costly structural upgrades that would be required to get it off the ground.

    Having said that, could I pre-book (and pay) for any classes offered by Amanda, Janet or Karen? There’s $300-$400 right there. ;)

  • Classroom

    @Vaughn, ENTS installed a pottery studio approximately two months ago. The installed equipment has already paid itself off in new membeships for their space. Apparently Edmonton has a fairly sizeable pottery community, and the process is cost prohibitive to the point that people are signing up for $400 Intro courses at colleges just to ignore the instructor and access the equipment, so I’m not saying we would get THAT huge of a response.

    The interesting part to me was when Richard started talking about the pottery studio bringing in “more better members”. To Richard a better member was someone who invested their time in the community around thr space, as opposed to someone who purchased a membership to complete a project over a month and was never seen again.

    Just some food for thought, but as long as the logistics to start it out work and there is a core group committed to make it work I think is an excellent idea for the space.

  • @kile the pottery studio at ENTS has been busy the last couple weeks. Of the members who self-identify as “pottery members” 4/5 were in the space over the last week working on projects.
    Obviously I can’t say much about the Kamloops market but at least in Edmonton, it’s been very successful.

    We haven’t even started advertising it yet and we’re already growing the studio. I’ll be driving to Moose Jaw next weekend to pickup another Kiln and we’re going to ad a third pottery wheel shortly.
    Anyway, there’s no doubt the setup is expensive. We thought we could get into it with about $1200 with a good find on Kijiji, but as with many things, the more we learned about it the less we knew. We’re lucky to have 2 pottery instructors in our group and that’s hugely beneficial, but all told our “buy in” is probably going to be in the $2000-3000 range, and we got a lot of stuff on loan or donation.

  • One short note: we just ordered our extraction vent from Vent-A-Kiln. We badgered them on price and got almost 30% off, which is a pretty great deal. We ended up paying $650 CAD shipped, there may be customs/brokerage, we’re not sure.

    Anyway, if you do end up putting together a studio, we can forward you the Reps info and you can try for the same pricing.

  • Classroom

    Thanks @kulps—ENTS for the heads up. Apparently there are some pieces of kit that individuals may place on loan to the space, I’m not really sure WRT ventilation, but we will keep this in mind if we need to purchase.

  • Member

    Don’t buy a kiln extraction vent I have one I can donate. It’s never been used by me and I don’t think I will need it in the future.

  • Design Lab


    • Timo and I and other vollies are doing the floor of the Pottery Studio tomorrow (Monday Feb 27). We’re going to sheet it with 5/8" OSB T&G and clear it with eurathane.
    • Anton has lent his table top to the studio.
    • I have posted ads on facebook and the forum for Amandas workshops to raise money for the install of the kilns etc. March 21, 28 and 31st (drop in afternoon)
    • Cant wait to see Amanda and her co-hort in action at the Space!

  • Member

    @Vaughn I’m excited too!

  • Design Lab

    The Pottery Room floor is complete - super-props to Timo, who led the charge - we are lucky to have such a qualified dude swing into action on this! Timo is new around here - say hi if you see him!

    We will euthanize, I mean eurathane the floor Friday - stink alert!

    Next up: we need $200 for the table and shelving 3/4" good oneside (6 sheets at our special rate of $33/ ).

  • Design Lab


    We had an excellent meeting with Grant, Aras, Kile, Amanda, Timo, Janet in attendance. The highlights:

    -Timo and I did the floor install, and will carry on with clearcoating it on Friday. On that day, we intend to start on the center worktable, work bench and shelving against wall.

    -Grant is going to wire in lights overhead, with a wood enclosure by Timo. Kind of like a billiard table light, but brighter.

    -Amanda is doing workshops March 21 and 28 and we’ll announce a drop in day just after that to sweep up the waiting list.

    -Janet will do Fairy workshops in early/mid April, and we are looking for more ‘non-kiln’ workshops to raise further money to do the kiln. etc install, with a veiw to having the kilns operational for mid-May.

    -We intend to write a Community Arts Grant for this, and here is the preliminary budget for that:

    Community Arts Grant Budget for Pottery Studio (DRAFT - NOT FOR PUBLICATION)

    Floor - $260 materials Labour - 15 carp, 5 labour

    Table - $180 materials - 15 carp, 8 labour

    Benches and cabinets - $280 materials - 8 carp, 8 labour

    Lighting system - $1500 - 10 hours electical, 2 hours labour

    Shelving and cabinets $400 - 8 hours carp, 8 hours labour

    Kiln, sink and glazing install - $2000 materials, 35 electrical, 25 carp, 35 labour

    Electrical supplies - $1000

    Ventilation and air intakes - $1500

    Materials conveyor - $1500 - 20 carp, 20 labour

    Kilns donated - $5000

    Two wheels - $2500

    Auto control for kilns - $450

    Laser cutter rotory tool - $1000 - 10 hours labour


    Materials purchase: $10,070

    Donated equipment: $7,500


    Electrical - $65 x 45 = $2925
    Carpenter -$35 x 91 = $3185
    Labour - $25 x 96 = $2400

            Total Expenses:     $26,080


    Makerspace - cash - $500
    labour $8510

    Potters - kilns $5000
    wheels $2500

    Community Art Grant $8,570

            Total income:       $26,080         

    The Makerspace is committing to some serious labour as our part of this development - thank you to @Grant-Fraser @arasbm @n0pe @Timo @amanda @karen especially for your efforts on behalf of our community. Outstanding.

    It is my hope that we attract a whole new group of members that add their creativity, experience and vibes to an already awesome collection of minds and hearts.

  • Member

    My March 28 class only has one spot left! Sign up soon!

  • Design Lab

    Archive photos of Pottery Room development
    9_1489999763321_20170319_220830.jpg 8_1489999763320_20170319_205208.jpg 7_1489999763320_20170319_180616.jpg 6_1489999763320_20170319_180508.jpg 5_1489999763320_20170319_152554.jpg 4_1489999763320_20170319_143340.jpg 3_1489999763320_20170319_002506.jpg 2_1489999763320_20170319_002453.jpg 1_1489999763320_20170217_175602.jpg 0_1489999763320_d442936c55b26b31ab74b7ab719e77f6.jpg

  • @Vaughn

    Can you give me a general idea of the dimensions of that rolling pin cylinder? Length and diameter would be plenty. Working on sketches for a rotary axis for the laser now.

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