Our open studio is for makers just like you! Learn about our studio plus some history on the artforms we practice
MIY Ceramics Studio and Leaning Center is an open studio. We provide open access studio to people looking for a place to practice their skills without having to set up a costly home studio. Currently we have 25 full time studio members. We also teach pottery, glass fusing, lampworking. painting and mosaic classes, host day of fun studio parties anteam building evens. We also teach Boy Scouts pottery merit badge classes, run ceramics summer camps, slump glass bottles, offer kiln firing services, sell clay, glass supplies and tools and restore artwork, We are a unique playground for clay and glass enthusiasts, recreational potters and artists of all skill levels who come to use our studio facilities to make, learn play with and shop for pottery, mosaic, dichroic glass jewelry and artwork.
MIY Ceramcs Art Studio Facilities
The main room of our 2500 sq. feet studio is an open air conditioned space outfitted with 15 electric pottery wheels, a Peter Pugger clay pug-mill machine, several workstations for pottery hand building and glazing, concrete wedging tables, a 2×4 ft clay slab roller, a 4 inch extruder, an environment friendly special sink for recycling clay, 8 electric kilns and counting! We also have a variety of tools and molds available for use or purchase. The well ventilated kiln and green ware area, separated from our main room, has direct access to a fenced yard which is used for glazing and clay reclamation. We offer a wide range of clay bodies and glazes (commercially and studio made), different firing methods, crates for personal tools and ample space for work in progress, bisque ware and exhibition of finished pieces. Join our studio facilities using one of the access plans below. The other half of the building houses our pottery handbuilding glass lampworking, paint your own pottery areas t property mosaic making areas. As beneficial as our plans might be, you will get the greatest value from the relationships you establish with our other members. They are a lively group of down-to-earth people from all walks of life with mixed backgrounds, skills and talents. Some are new to ceramics, others proficient artists. All are resourceful, always willing to give you a helping hand should you get stuck in the mud. They all have a common passion for making pottery artwork and love sharing it with other members. Come and join them anytime!
MIY Ceramics | Glass Fusing | Mosaic and Paint Art Studio Origins
When Fire and Mud Pottery Studio closed in 2006, all the members were distressed since this was their passion and the only open pottery studio in South Florida. After some initial crying and screaming, and a crash course on how to license a business, the members came up with a plan and opened a new studio on April 2007 in a nearby location. We have managed to successfully recreated the magic of the old studio and have added glass fusing. lampworking/flameworking, paint your own ceramics, mosaics, and glass painting. To reflect the new arts and crafts additions, our name is now MIY Ceramics and Glass Studio. By the way, MIY stands for Make It Yourself!!!! We are again having fun playing with brand new equipment and gizmos in a bigger and nicer facility. It has been one heck of a ride!
HISTORY OF CERAMICS AND CLAY
Pottery is our oldest handicraft. In prehistoric times, most likely water was carried in woven baskets lined with river clay. After the water was poured out of the container the layer of clay dried. The loss of moisture caused the shape to shrink and separate from the sides of the basket. When the clay, now shaped like a pot, was removed, and dried in the sun on hot sand, it retained the basket pattern. Early men and women then discovered that they could harden the molded pottery in hot ashes and make sturdy containers to transport and store foodstuffs. From these would have been extended the pots formed by hand and decorated with crude tools. From a very early date in history, some say at least 400 B. C., earthenware pottery was produced on a mass scale by a potter’s wheel in many parts of the world.
The Egyptians made kilns to place their clay pots in for firing. The kiln was lined with a kind of insulation brick that was made from a mixture of straw and clay which had been dried in the sun. Later, the ancient Egyptians used finer clay with high quartz content for their delicate pottery. They rubbed the pieces with a smooth stone to give the dull sheen or coated them with a fine layer of another color of clay.
Further experimentation leads the Egyptians to coat their clay objects with a bluish-green substance to make them non-porous. This was a glaze composed of quartz, soda, and a mineral containing copper which when fired covered the clay bowls and vases with a glass-like surface.
Ancient Greek vases are highly valued for form and decoration. The graceful lines a perfect balance speaks to our desire for beauty. The pottery was decorated with pictures of the daily lives of the people and stories of their gods, goddesses and heroes. On the red figure vases the background was painted black and the figures were left the natural red color of the clay. The color was reversed on the black-figured vases
In medieval times sand was mixed with clay to make cooking pots strong enough to be placed over an open fire. Today, for the same reason, casseroles used for baking are made from clay mixed with grog which is a ground-up fired pottery. The openness of grog clay allows water to evaporate more evenly as it dries and prevents cracking and warping during the firing. Grog clay eases the problem of heat expansion which can cause large thick pieces of pottery or sculpture to blow up in the kiln.
Around the middle of the thirteenth century German potters started to produce stoneware. This pottery was made form finer clays and fired at a higher temperature than earthenware. Stoneware was tan or gray in color, strong and naturally non-porous.
Light, transparent porcelain was first produced in China. Porcelain was made from very plastic and pure clay called kaolin mixed with feldspar. The colorful decoration of the porcelain was accomplished by firing each color individually after it was applied. These delicate china dishes and figurines were in demand all over Europe. In their efforts to unravel the secret of the composition of the Chinese porcelain, European and other Asian potters developed many variations in their glazing techniques.
Late in the sixteenth century, a trade route through Manila, brought pottery from China to Acapulco to Vera Cruz, Mexico to Europe.
HISTORY OF GLASS FUSING
While the precise origins of glass fusing techniques are not known with certainty, there is archaeological evidence that the Egyptians were familiar with techniques ca. 2000 BCE. Although this date is generally accepted by researchers, some historians argue that the earliest fusing techniques were first developed by the Romans, who were much more prolific glassworkers. Fusing was the primary method of making small glass objects for approximately 2,000 years, until the development of the glass blowpipe. Glassblowing largely supplanted fusing due to its greater efficiency and utility.
While glass working in general enjoyed a revival during the Renaissance, fusing was largely ignored during this period. Fusing began to regain popularity in the early part of the 20th century, particularly in the U.S. during the 1960s. Modern glass fusing is a widespread hobby but the technique is also gaining popularity in the world of fine art.
Fused glass is glass that has been fired (heat-processed) in a kiln at a range of temperatures from 1,099 °F to 1,501 °F. Firing in the lower ranges of these temperatures is called slumping. Firing in the middle ranges of these temperatures is considered tack fusing. Firing in the high ranges of these temperatures is a full fuse. All of these techniques can be applied to one glass work in separate firings to add depth, relief and shape. When glass is fused, unless the separate pieces are of the same COE (co-efficient-of-expansion) the pieces will shatter as the different types of glass cool, as not being the same COE will cause them to contract at differing rates, causing stress fractures to appear between the pieces fused together. Many companies make glass of the same COE, such as the Spectrum glass system 96, which has also been adopted by other manufacturers so that glass from different companies can be used in the same piece without fear of destruction. Frit (graded glass fragments) is also subject to differing rates of expansion and can also cause a piece to fail. Most contemporary fusing methods involve stacking, or layering thin sheets of glass, often using different colors to create patterns or simple images. The stack is then placed inside the kiln (which is almost always electric, but can be heated by gas or wood) and then heated through a series of ramps (rapid heating cycles) and soaks (holding the temperature at a specific point) until the separate pieces begin to bond together. The longer the kiln is held at the maximum temperature, the more thoroughly the stack will fuse, eventually softening and rounding the edges of the original shape.
LAMPWORKING also known as Bead Making and Flamework
Historically lampworking comes from people working glass in the flame of an oil lamp. The glass blowers would blow into the flame(adding air and oxygen to it) to get it hotter and hotter so that it would melt or soften glass for them to manipulate and sculpt it. We don’t know exactly where and when this art form started since the term lampworking has been loosely defined in history but records that Moreno glass was used in lampworking techniques in the 14th century. Galileo Galilee was known “artist and inventor” created large apparatus’s to as foot operated bellows to add even more oxygen to the flames to get it hotter. Maybe this was what he used so that he could manipulate the glass to create some of hissed effect has been achieved at the maximum desired temperature, the kiln temperature will be brought down quickly through the temperature range of 1,099 °F to 1,501 °F to avoid devitrification. The glass is then allowed to cool slowly over a specified time, soaking at specified temperature ranges which are essential to the annealing process. This prevents uneven cooling and breakage and produces a strong finished product. This cooling takes place normally for a period of 10–12 hours in 3 stages. While the precise origins of glass fusing techniques are not known with certainty, there is archaeological evidence that the Egyptians were familiar with techniques ca. 2000 BCE. Although this date is generally accepted by researchers, some historians argue that the earliest fusing techniques were first developed by the Romans, who were much more prolific glassworkers. Fusing was the primary method of making small glass objects for approximately 2,000 years, until the development of the glass blowpipe. Glassblowing largely supplanted fusing due to its greater efficiency and utility. While glass working in general enjoyed a revival during the Renaissance, fusing wasmost renowned inventions like the 30x magnification telescope (or spyglass) or his lovely glass ball thermometer that still artfully graces many homes for its beautiful design and functionality. While glass working in general enjoyed a revival during the Renaissance, fusing was largely ignored during this period. Fusing began to regain popularity in the early part of the 20th century, particularly in the U.S. during the 1960s.
HISTORY OF MOSAICS
The earliest example of mosaics dates back to Mesopotamia in about 3000 BC. Mosaic is the assembly of pieces of rock, stone, ceramics, glass, an other mate rials into a pattern or image. Maybe mosaics where the first expression of people trying to beautify their environment through means that where constructed instead of naturally created like gardens or landscapes. Maybe as humans we went from trying to find shelter, to trying to make our own shelter, and then trying to beautify through means like mosaics long before we discovered latex paint and home depot.
We are based in one of the most beautiful places on earth. Come visit us!