New Equipment Acquired for the Ceramics Studio

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State of the art pug mill helps minimize waste and maximize efficiency

The ACT Art Centre’s ceramic studio recently acquired a pug mill. The machine allows for clay that has dried out or is left over to be re-worked, removed of all air, and then re-used as workable clay. Clay is pushed through an opening called a hopper which feeds into a metal cylinder with a large screw inside called an auger. The auger churns up the clay and works out any inconsistencies and lumps and packs the clay tightly together, feeding it out of the machine into perfect long tubes.

As the studio continues to grow, this machine will help minimize waste and maximize efficiency. The studio’s technicians are particularly excited about the new machine because it can wedge clay, the process by which air bubbles are removed from clay. If air is left in the clay, it will explode in the kiln. Air is traditionally removed by repeatedly squashing and shaping the clay using a technique not unlike kneading bread. This time-consuming process will now be done by the pug mill using the built-in ‘de-airing’ function which vacuums out any air bubbles, making the clay as uniform in structure and smooth as possible. Clay will now be ready to use much quicker as the machine can process 25 pounds in under an hour.

Here are some photos of the pug mill being installed, and used for the first time.

Participants in our adult ceramics classes can now purchase recycled clay at $22 a bag (tax included) from the Ticket Centre. Recycled clay will be used in children’s pottery classes as well in the very near future.

Upcoming Pottery Classes:

·   Advanced Throwing, 4 sessions, November 26, 28, Dec 3, 12, 6:30 pm – 9:00, Reg #9208, Fee: $100

Visit theactmapleridge.org/arts-programs-pottery to learn more.

Anna Black