What is the course about?
This course is aimed at those teaching ceramics in schools, to enable them to fire an electric kiln successfully and safely. It is primarily aimed at those who are new to operating a kiln, or who may not have done so for some time, who are wanting to build up or refresh the skills and confidence to fire students’ work.
What are the Dates?
Select your preferred start date from the list above.
The course is run over three weekly sessions, starting at 15:30 and lasting for 2 hours.
The sessions are also recorded and put onto the course web page, so you can view them at other times.
What will we cover?
The course covers everything you are likely to need be able to use an electric kiln in a school setting both safely and productively. The emphasis is on firing pieces with successful, reliable results, and using the kiln safely.
The course covers how a kiln heats up, how we measure it with thermocouples and cones, and how we control it with the kiln controller; choosing clays and glazes to use; what happens to clays and glazes during the firing; loading and unloading the kiln; firing faults, their prevention and cure; kiln installation and maintenance; and kiln safety.
The course doesn’t deal with older technology such as kiln sitters or kilns controlled manually through dials.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to:
- Identify and understand all the components found in an electric kiln and its controller
- Understand temperature and heatwork, and how they are measured
- Understand how clays and glazes, and their constituent materials, are transformed through the firing process, and what fumes may be given off from the kiln
- Choose suitable clays, glazes etc. for use in your classes for ease of firing
- Know how to load and unload your kiln, including the best shelf spacing and positioning of pots
- Understand and use your kiln controller, and monitor your firing
- Determine reliable firing schedules for your work
- Identify firing faults and possible cures
- Understand safety issues – heat, electricity, and fumes – and minimise risks
- Know about kiln maintenance, and how to diagnose faults
What do I get?
- The booking is per school, so more than one person from the same establishment may attend
- Three live sessions with questions and discussions, each lasting 2 hours each week
- Recordings of all sessions are available on the course page for later viewing
- Downloadable PDFs of all presentations
- Additional online course material is posted on the course page, giving background info and greater depth
- Premium level access to the Tech part of my web site, containing much more information, references etc., is free for the duration of the course
- Ability to contact me with questions between sessions
- Free access to all the course materials until 1 month after the end of the course
- Course completion certificate
What level is the course, and do I need any particular skills?
Beginner to intermediate.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
The course is primarily run through the weekly online sessions, which are a live lecture where you can also ask questions or get a discussion going.
Additional material that you may wish to explore is on the course website. This will help you go deeper into the subject matter, should you wish to do so.
At the end of each session a number of suggestions will be made, to help you explore aspects of the session within the setting of your school.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
There are no other costs or requirements.
Do I get a certificate or anything at the end?
Yes. A course completion certificate (as a PDF) will be sent to all students who complete the course.