Facilities, Equipment, Use

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Studio Equipment


Designed to make the most of our Southern California coastal climate, the Ceramics Area facilities include 17,000 square feet of combined indoor studios and instructional spaces, and outdoor covered work yards and pavilion structures.

We have a well-equipped facility, and any of its equipment can be available where appropriate and approved for use by participants in our community; however, access to this equipment will have to be deemed appropriate and may be subject to training, testing, and approval, and use must be worked out around other users and around our classes. 

Studio Equipment

Depending on your level of familiarity, we may ask you to go through training on the use of some equipment with our faculty or technical staff.

Available equipment includes the following.

  • abrasive blast cabinet (sand blaster) 
  • angle grinders 
  • ball-jars and rollers
  • bench grinder 
  • bench-scale - industrial
  • cordless drills
  • “milkshake” mixer for glaze test batches
  • “Lightnin” motor-driven agitator/mixer
  • hand-levered four-inch-barrel extruder
  • hot box cabinet
  • kilns – raku bell-lift
  • kilns – electric top-loading of various sizes
  • kilns – natural gas front-loading and car kilns
  • mineral crusher - hand-cranked “chipmunk”
  • mineral grinder/powderizer - motor-driven
  • mixing drills
  • potter’s wheels - Brent EX and CXC heavy-duty 
  • pug mill – Peter Pugger stainless steel for specialized and supervised use
  • slab roller
  • spray booth - triple-filtration
  • tile/brick/masonry saw
  • “Soldner” rotary clay mixers with a max capacity of 240 lbs. including the weight of water
  • “stacker” lifts, winches, and hoists for loading and unloading large work

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We have five front-loader Geil natural-gas kilns with settable footprints of 24” X 36” and a height under the arch of 48” (61 X 91 cm footprint X 122 cm high at center under the arch) so if objects within this size range can be built outside the kiln and then loaded in, this size range is easy to accommodate.

We have five natural-gas car kilns with settable volumes as listed below. Each of these is uniquely sized and proportioned, and there is only one of each, so as Guest Artists get into making very large work, we have to begin planning and designing with the kilns in mind, and we need to work out firing calendars. If we’re looking at tying up kilns with building work directly on the cars and letting work dry on the cars and then firing, then calendaring is more difficult because there’s a lot of demand for these kilns. More often than not, even with very large work, artists build outside the kiln and then load it for firing.

Car kiln specs:

  • 36” X 48” footprint X 48” high at center under the arch, fires to cone 10
  • (91 X 122 cm footprint X 122 cm high at center under the arch);
  • 36” X 72” footprint X 48” high at center under the arch, fires to cone 10
  • (91 X 213 cm footprint X 122 cm high at center under the arch);
  • 48” X 60” footprint X 62” high at center under the arch, kind of a crusty, flaky, dirty, leaky old kiln, but still makes it to cone 10
  • (122 X 213 cm footprint X 157 cm high at center under the arch);
  • 36” X 48” footprint X 72” high at the center under the arch fires to cone 10
  • (91 X 122 cm footprint X 182 cm high at center under the arch);
  • 48” X 84” footprint X 96” high at the center under the arch, never fired above cone 5 
  • (122 X 213 cm footprint X 244 cm high at center under the arch).

We have four other small- to medium-sized natural gas kilns.

None of our natural gas kilns are fully programmable. They all require minding throughout the firing process.

We have one large Laguna bell-lift raku kiln.

We have multiple Skutt top-loading programmable electric kilns of various sizes. We have no front-loading electric kilns.

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All of our firings fall into the following categories.

  • Neutral atmosphere electric firing up to cone 10 equivalent,
  • Oxidation or reduction of atmosphere natural gas firing up to cone 10,
  • Raku natural gas firing up to cone 04 (limited).

Access to our kilns is not a free-for-all, and though we have many kilns, we also have much demand for their use at any given time from faculty, Guest Artists, graduate students, undergraduate Ceramics majors, and minors, and numerous classes and workshops. 

Loading and firing must be scheduled with the CCC Director, Ceramic Arts Studies Program Head, or other core faculty, and requires both advance planning and flexibility.

Guest Artists are welcome to fire kilns if we are confident in their ability to do so safely and effectively. Guest Artists may be asked to do additional training on the use of the kilns. With advance planning, our faculty and staff may also provide some assistance with firing.

MFA Ceramics students, and undergraduate Ceramics BFA students who have completed requisite coursework, training, and testing, and have completed a safety verification process may fire kilns independently with faculty approval.

We do not do wood, salt, or soda firing, and generally do not do firing that involves introducing combustibles into the kiln chamber except under limited, preapproved, and supervised circumstances.

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