Interested in a virtual clay activity but don’t know where to start? Let us show you how simple it is to participate in an online ceramics class at home!
First, sign up online. NCC generally offers at least one full-term class and several single session workshops per quarter. Most classes can be accomplished with tools that you already have at home, like a fork, rolling pin, and old credit card. A week before the activity you can pick up materials for your class or workshop at NCC.
Before you know it, the time for your virtual workshop will have arrived! You’ll want to set up your clay space on a flat surface, lined with paper (newspaper and scrap paper is great), have a comfortable chair, a sponge (or rag), and water at the ready to use for clean-up. If there are other tools you need, NCC will let you know ahead of time.
You will receive a link via email to join the live event via Zoom. When you join the meeting an NCC teaching artist will direct you as they demonstrate all the techniques to create a wonderful clay object. They will walk you through the process step-by-step and answer your questions as they arise. Creativity is encouraged and the teaching artist will help guide you with any decorations or alterations that make your project unique and remarkable.
You never know what curves the conversations may take in the Zoom classroom. Eagles and bird watching, favorite childhood cartoons, wonderful reading materials, favorite recipes, and many other avenues of conversation have been discussed in our virtual clay classrooms!
After the workshop, bring your completed clay creation back to Northern Clay Center to be fired. It takes two weeks to get projects through the kiln firing process. Each project gets fired twice. The first time is called bisque (~1850F), and chemically removes all water from the clay and creates a permanent object. After the bisque firing, one of NCC’s technicians will apply clear glaze to your project, which will make it water tight and food safe. The second firing (~1950F) is the glaze firing, and melts and fuses the glaze to the surface of the piece. Due to the chemical and physical changes to clay during the firing, the piece will shrink about 12%, you’ll also notice that the color of the clay has changed. All of these scientific and chemical changes happen in the kiln and it can feel like magic as pieces transform from a shaped and formed hunk of clay into a finished piece of ceramic art!
When your creations have emerged from the kiln (after proper cooling time), NCC will send you an email to let you know they are ready to pick up!
Virtual clay workshops are a fun and accessible way to get creative! Check out our current selection of virtual workshops here.