Monday, April 27, 2009

Japanese Teapot Workshop

We had a Japanese Teapot Workshop today and everybody made a Japanese style side handle teapot. Teapot is one of the hardest tableware, and today's class was really successful. The most fun part was we had tea break while waiting for drying out pots, and tasted nice green tea and sweets!
Instructor showed how to assemble parts

Thank you so much for participating workshop.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Additional Classes Information

Thank you so much for signing up the Special Workshops. All classes got full, and we still have people who are interested in them, so we will offer additional classes in June.

June 6 (Sat) 1:30-4:30pm
Large Bowl/Platter Making, 4 people/max, 1 person available
Intermediate to Advanced
Participants will make large bowl/ platter at least 18 inch width by electric wheel. Instructor gives demonstration, instruction and useful technique for making large pots. Cost $50 includes studio fee and all materials. You may want to bring some of your personal tools for throwing. Pots will be taken home with participants after the class.

June 20 (Sat) 1:30-4:30pm
Japanese Tea Pot Making, 4 people/max, 1 person available
Intermediate to Advanced
Participants will learn how to make Japanese style teapot by throwing. Tea pot is one of the hardest table wares, and instructor will teach all process to make teapot. There will be a tea break during the class, and participants will taste Japanese green tea. Cost $50 includes studio fee and all materials. You may want to bring some of your personal tools for throwing. Pots will be taken home with participant after the class.Please sign up by phone (910-428-9007) or email in advance.

Instructor: Hitomi Shibata, STARworks Ceramics
See artist info here:

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

We're making clay Continued

Work Work Work!
(The folk lift wasn't on drive and made sure it's safe for baby)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

We're making clay

We have been out of stock our NC local clay (Star White 10), so we are making it now.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Wood Kiln Unloading at NCPC

It's been for 10 days since the wood firing was ended at NCPC, and today is unloading day. People started unloading from 9am and it just took less than two hours to get work done. It's much faster than loading or firing, isn't it?

Results looked OK to me. It's always good and not so good because it's wood firing, but it was a group firing and everything was new experiment. STARworks clay is very high refractory clay, so that there shouldn't be cracking problem by wood firing process than any other commercial clays.

It was good event and STARworks Ceramics is pleased to join and support for it.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Clay Experience Workshop

We had a group who wanted to take Clay Experience Workshop this morning. They are very good students and worked very hard. Thank you for joining and we hope you enjoyed making pots.

Clay Experience workshop is designed for people who don’t have any/much previous clay experience. It’s a two-hour class that will give an opportunity to make simple pots that will be a permanent souvenir of a visit to this area. Also it would be good tips for your customers to spend extra time during pottery shopping.

After the class, the pots will be glazed and fired by STARworks Ceramics, and then they’ll be returned by either mail or local pickup. We can accommodate large groups up to 20 for hand building class, and up to 4 for wheel throwing class. This workshop is a great way for visitors to experience the rich craft culture in this region. It is our hope that this program promotes interest in pottery and encourages
future visits to the area.

Workshops are scheduled Monday through Saturday.
Please make reservations by phone or email.

4 to 10 participants: $35.00/ person for hand-building class
10 to 20 participants: $30.00/ person for hand-building class
4 participants: $35.00/ person for wheel-throwing class
Children with adults: $20.00/ person

Cost includes studio fee, all project materials and firing cost. If you have any further question about the Clay Experience Workshop, please give us a call at 910-428-9007 or send email to

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Test firing

We had test firing and loaded a lot of test tiles of local clays.

An article about the wood firing at NCPC

Uwharrie Mountains and Lakes Area Visitor Center sent out the latest newsletter and they picked up the wood firing event at NCPC on April 4th, and mentioned about STARworks local clay.
See an article to this link:

Thanks to Bulldog Pottery for letting us know it!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Materials have arrived

You might have been waited for this, and we have got lots of ceramic materials in our warehouse now. Please give us a call or send email if you need any materials. STARworks clay (Star White 10) is now out of stock, but we will start mixing very soon.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Wood Firing Event at NCPC

Cerebration of Seagrove Potters made a plan to have group wood firing at NCPC and they asked STARworks Ceramics to donate NC Local Clay and also do technical support for the firing. The wood firing was hold on April 4th, and we helped kiln loading and leading wood firing for Seagrove potters.

It's always not easy to make everybody happy for large group wood firing, and I tried to be fare to load kiln with so many people and pots.

As for the firing, the first shift (Leader: Fred Johnston) started candling at 4:30am, and the second shift (Leader: David Stuempfle) got cone 010 down at 2pm and cone 6 down at 4pm in the glaze chamber. The third shift (Leader:Chad Brown) had a little bit hard time to control temperature differences between the bottom and top. Usually this stage is always hard because you must get temperature and heat but also good reduction atmosphere both at the same time.

STARworks Ceramcis was in charged of the last shift until finish, and it was also very hard to make temperatures evenly. Takuro watched flames in the kiln, smoke from chimney, sounds from kiln, color of flame, like many signs from firing, but not pyrometer. David and Alexa (Seagrove Stoneware), Benjamin Burns (The Great White Oak), Santiago Ramirez (STARworks Ceramics) were our team and we did good job to wrap up the hardest part of firing.

The glaze chamber was done around 7pm or so, then moved on the salt chamber. When cone 7 down on the bottom of the salt chamber, Hitomi kicked in rock salts (approx 10 lb) by metal angle, and we finally finished firing at 9:15pm.

As a result, it went well and seems like people were happy about the firing. Kiln unloading will be on April 13th (Monday) and you will see the results of STARworks NC local clay.
In my personal opinion, I have fired this kiln for seven times when I was a residency artist of NCPC, and this firing is probably one of the best firing at NCPC according to my experiences. I can't wait to see the results.