MIY Ceramics Studio and Leaning Center is an open access pottery studio. We provide studio space to people looking for a place to practice their pottery skills without having to set up a costly home studio. We are a playground for pottery 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 artwork.
MIY Ceramics Studio Facilities
The main room of our 2500 sq. feet studio is an open air conditioned space outfitted with 12 electric pottery wheels, a Peter Pugger clay pug-mill, 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 and, 8 electric kilns. We also have a variety of tools and molds. 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.
The other half of the building houses our pottery handbuilding, paint your own pottery, warm glass fusing, lampworking-beading and mosaics making areas. As valuables as our facilities 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 skills, background 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!
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, 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 warm glass fusing, lampworking-beading, paint your own pottery and mosaics.To reflect the new art additions, our name is now MIY Ceramics, Glass and Mosaics 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
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.
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.