Notice for CLAYTIVITY studio users

Please do not enter the studio if you had COVID-19 symptoms within 14 days. Cancel or reschedule.

Wash your hands before and after using the studio. There is a hand washing station with clean water, soap and cloths for individual use.

Please keep 6 ft apart from each other.

Avoid touching other users’ clay, water and tools.

Clean and sanitize any shared tools before handing over to someone else.

Before leaving the studio, dump unused or leftover clay in the used-clay container and your ‘clay-water’ into the bucket.

We will cancel the session if the instructor was symptomatic within 14 days.

We will limit the number of studio users to allow 6 feet between each person, or group from the same household.

If possible we may work outside but if inside, we will open doors to increase air flow and use a fan if necessary.

Each studio user will have their own work area, work mat, seat, water, and clay.

One person (Rosemary) will hand out tools, set up work areas, divide and distribute clay. This person will wash their hands before and wear a mask.

If you use the bathroom, disinfect flushing handle and door handles between bathroom and studio. There will be: disinfectant wipes or spray bottles; hand drying cloths for personal use, after use, toss into the box provided.

Please bring an apron.

  • Use of pottery wheel

Please do not touch clay and equipment while some one else is using the wheel.

Use your own water and container. After use, empty into the large clay-water bucket.

Before you begin, please tie back hair and remove scarves, wrist watch etc.

Turn off the electrical switch before cleaning.

After use, sanitize the wheel head and speed control switch (if the wheel has one) with sanitizing spray or wipes.

  • Between studio days

Between studio days, we will:

  • clean the tools, equipment, and work surfaces and mop the floor;  
    • wear splash proof eye nose and mouth protection, whilst disposing or processing used water;
    • dry out the clay before reconditioning;
    • quarantine the clay for atleast 7 days.

Painting Projects

Painting project

After bisque firing CLAYTIVITY projects are creamy-white ceramic and ready for painting.

  • hand print project
  • rock pool candle holder
  • insects on a leaf
  • Painting project
  • Squamish Estuary and Wetlands
  • Tap into your imagination!

You will need

  • Newspaper. Cover surfaces for easy cleanup.
  • Acrylic paints
  • Paint brushes – provide a variety from fine to wide tipped
  • Paint palette or plastic lid
  • Water pot
  • Gold, glitter, marker pens, tooth picks or round ended pin heads to embelish after painting all surfaces.

Painting

Allow plenty of time or plan to complete in two or three shorter sessions. Complete the base or background one session paint other areas later.

Often new ideas form or change but plan before you begin. Think about how you will paint different areas: which colours; which area first. Markings or lines you made on the project will help.

Acrylic, gold, glitter, paints. For best results and a shiny surface, use acrylic paint. Paint all areas first then add detail: glitter and metallic paints for special effects, a toothpick, fine brush or round pin head for gold trimmings, necklaces, earrings.

If the paint gets a little too globby, wet the paintbrush in the water pot to make it thinner and easier to spread. Wipe excess paint or water off the brush on newspaper or the side of the palette.

If you make a mistake, allow the paint to dry then paint over.

Paint brushes etc

Provide a selection of paint brushes, fine to wide. You can use marker pend to add lines, dots and other details after the paint has dried. Toothpicks and round pin heads are also great for adding dots, eg buttons, patterns, texture, pupils of eyes. Join the dots to form lines.

Water Pots and palettes

Give each student a palette and a little water for adjusting the thickness of the paint and cleaning paint brushes. Large yogurt pot lids make excellent inexpensive palettes, and can be used over and over again. Simply wash or peel off the paint after it has dried.

Techniques

Palettes

Squeeze a small amount of two to three colours onto a palette or just one or two colours at a time. Let the artist choose! Two or three colours can be mixed to make any number of new variations. For example, try mixing blue and yellow, or green with yellow and blue to make different greens, or any colour with tiny amounts of black or white to make different shades.

Paint brushes

 Show students how to use a paintbrush just the right size for each area, clean their brushes after each colour application and remove excess water by wiping on newspaper. For best results, encourage everyone to empty and refill water pots frequently.

Painting

Paint the largest area first, often this is the base or background and smallest areas last, finishing with fine detail once all areas are covered and. Allow the paint to completely dry before changing colours and wash the paint brush well in clean water.

Encourage students to paint every bit of their project using a fine brush to get into tiny nooks and crannies. Pay attention to detail!

Have fun painting your projects!

Setting up for a CLAYTIVITY class

Here is what you need to set up. Don’t worry, it’s not as complicated as it looks!

before

  • Add value to the students’ experience with stories, background information or work related to the project.
  • Ask students to come in clothes that don’t mind getting a little clay on them!
  • Forewarn the janitorial staff – the floor may need a little extra attention afterwards!

students

  • Please provide name badges or label for each student.
  • Water to ‘glue’ components of clay together.

Instructor will provide clay, tooth picks, small water containers and mats for students’ use

instructor’s space

  • The instructor will need a sturdy table where the students can watch and follow instructions, with access to an electrical outlet, for short throwing demonstration on a portable wheel.

Instructor will cover this work area with a drop cloth.

a clean-up plan!!!

  • Place finished projects in trays provided by instructor,
  • Return toothpicks, water containers, unused clay to the instructor’s table
  • Please rinse working mats rinsed and place in one pile by sink.
  • Wipe down tables/work areas and wash hands thoroughly. Avoid throwing muddy clay/water down the drain! Use A bucket of water!
  • Consider assigning a mop and sweep up task.

I didn’t know cats can ride horses!

A clay date Workshop

Two imaginative young artists joined me for a clay-date in my ‘back yard’ studio for some part hand-building & part pottery wheel experience.

They learned how to make horses and I learned that cats sometimes like to ride or even go to sleep on horses, especially on cold wintry days. They also did an amazing job for their first time ever experience using a pottery wheel. I helped them each make a cup but ‘M’ had her own ideas and made her cup into a castle tower!

What happens next?

When the horse projects, castle tower and cup are completely dry, they will be fired in a kiln, then we are going to have another clay-date – we’ll paint the projects, make another project and/or practice throwing-skills on the wheel.

What happens to projects after they are made?

A CLAYTIVITY project cannot be taken home immediately after it has been made – it has to be dried out and bisque fired in a kiln first and this process can take up to three weeks before the project can be returned. 

Read on to learn a little more about this process..

It is very important to let the clay dry out thoroughly  (about 7 – 15 days) otherwise when it is heated up in the kiln, as the water turns to steam and expands rapidly the project will explode and shatter into hundreds of little pieces which will scatter over everything else in the kiln.  With thicker pieces or bigger lumps of clay, like the body of a snowman, you can’t always tell if it is completely dry as it may look dry on the surface but in the centre it may still be a little moist so it’s best to be patient and wait rather than risking a catastrophic mess happening inside the kiln!

When the projects are dry, they are carefully loaded into the kiln on ceramic shelves. When a shelf is full, another shelf is added on special shelf supports, like another floor level in a house, so more projects can be loaded onto that shelf. Then one more shelf can be added and filled before the lid is closed on the kiln and is ready to start firing.

A small cone is placed in the switch mechanism, the kiln lid is then closed and the kiln is switched on. Coils of electric elements heat up the kiln to about 1000 degrees centigrade which takes about 5 – 6 hours, depending on how many projects are in the kiln. At this temperature, particles of clay melt and fuse together changing into bisque, a material that is very hard when it has cooled down and the projects glow with red hot heat like the embers in a campfire. When the kiln reaches this temperature, a small cone which has been placed in the switch mechanism starts to melt causing the kiln to switch off.

After about 12 hours when the kiln has cooled down the lid is opened and the kiln is unloaded. The projects are no longer clay projects but are now bisque, very hard and white with a beautiful surface. 

The projects are wrapped in newspaper and boxed up, ready for delivery or collection but they are not finished yet – there is one more thing to do and that is usually up to the client. Paint them with acrylic colours and for the final touch finish with an acrylic gloss or glitter paint and we are sure you will be delighted with your project!

Ready for firing – Five Fabulous Fantasy Animals

Five Fabulous Fantasy animals handmade in CLAYTIVITY ‘s unique outdoor studio (my back yard) by Squamish artists aged 4, 7, 8, 21 and 55, were loaded into the kiln yesterday and are being fired today ready for pickup tomorrow.

It’s been a tad longer than three weeks but hoping my clients will forgive me – I wanted to wait for more projects to fill the kiln.

Creating demands a lot of concentration, especially for younger children. Extra kudos go to these guys for getting here by bicycle. They definitely deserved the chocolate ice cream treats!

Projects for the Fall

Girls Night

Girls Night Out

It’s important for our wellbeing and sanity to spend some time with our friends to cheer us up, make us laugh and sometimes comfort us when we are down.

But taking a break from the relentless demands of life often requires a bit of artful planning!
You will need to find a day, invite your friends over, organize the drinks and treats but we’ll take care of everything else!

take a break
take a break
invite your friends over
invite your friends over

We’ll provide the clay and everything you will need for CLAYTIVITY, walk you through the process of making a complete project out of clay step by step, within 1 – 2 hours.
candle holder
candle holder
we'll walk you through the process of making a complete project out of clay
we’ll walk you through the process of making a complete project out of clay

We’ll also bring a portable pottery wheel and give a throwing demonstration and if you like you can try it out for yourselves.
you can invite your friends round again
you can invite your friends round again
paint and take them home!
paint and take them home!

And afterwards, we’ll take the projects away, fire them in our Kiln and return to you within 3 weeks.
Then you can invite your friends round again to paint and take them home!

Projects for groups of Mummies, Daddies, Carers, Babies and Toddlers

projects for mummies and daddies

demonstration using a potters wheel

Be creative with your baby or toddler with CLAYTIVITY! Invite CLAYTIVITY to join your group and we will guide you through the fun process of making a complete project with step by step instructions working side by side with your little one/s.

making a cup

Also, we will include a demonstration of pottery throwing on a potter’s wheel.

ready to begin a project

Either help your child or let them help you. It is not unusual for young children to have short attention spans (!) and not every little one takes to clay like goslings to water. But that’s OK, there is no pressure to make anyone get more involved than they feel comfortable with. Whether it’s handling little bits of clay, making small decorations or having their hand or foot pressed into the clay, it’s all about enjoying the moment with family and friends and making our first experience of working with clay a good one.

finished the work now CLAYTIVITY will do the rest

Let your toddler help you (or help them) flatten the clay or roll a piece of clay into a coil to make one of these projects, handle some small pieces of clay to make a few small decorations and ‘glue’ them on to the project by making them all shiny and wet with a finger of water.

thumb nail of pdf link
CLAYTIVITY Projects for groups of mums, dads, carers, babies and toddlers