Drury Ceramics Community
Each semester Drury Ceramics sponsors multiple free events through the Ceramics Club. These events are open to the community designed to foster a love for art and for making. Visiting artist workshops, Raku kiln firings, Halloween monster making event, and k-12 workshops are just a few of the offerings that DU Ceramics hosts. Through the expansion of DU’s kiln facility more programing will be possible including partnerships with the Springfield Art Museum and other non-profit organizations.
Phase #1 Goal $6,000
Great news! The Lyle D. Reed Charitable Foundation is providing a dollar-for-dollar match for every donation, making all donations double in value!
If you build it they will come. To really get this project underway we need a shelter to house the new gas kiln. So if we can get a shed funded through generous donations we will be able to get the project moving. The kiln facilities will be designed and built by DU’s Design/Build students to house the new gas kiln and be an on campus example of DU’s architecture program. It will also be the site for community gas kiln firings, Raku firing and pit firing events. The current location is too small to host the growing events that we host for Central High School twice a year and other events.
Kilns are the workhorses for Ceramic Art
Ceramics relies on kilns to fire (bake ) clay and transform it into ceramic art. Each kiln firing lasts between 6-15 hours depending on the type of firing being performed. The cool down process lasts around 20 hrs. A single piece of ceramic work usually spends about 48-60 hours in a kiln.
At Drury kilns are fired about once a week. There are anywhere between 14 and 20 firings a semester which produces a large volume of ceramic projects for both DU art courses and community events. A new workhorse is needed to help manage this workload.
The life expectancy of a gas kiln is 20 years (per manufacturer). The current gas kiln, bought in 1980, has lasted 35 years before it died.
Gas vs Electric
With our culture today dominated by computers and the desire for instant gratification, firing a gas kiln is a refreshing break. It is not a microwave that you punch in some buttons and out pops finished work. You need to work a gas kiln; it takes time, lots of adjusting and monitoring. For all that work you are rewarded with beautiful results that no electric kiln can come close to. Gas fired kilns provide a valuable learning experience into how clay and glazes respond in different types of atmospheric firings. Most ceramic artists prefer atmospheric firings because of the beautiful colors that they produce. DU’s new gas kiln would give an opportunity for k-12 schools and other organizations to explore new ways of firing their creations.