A pottery studio in St Civran, France
Welcome to this blog about the quiet rural life in the Berry Province of France where I have tried to open a pottery studio to hobby potters.
Your comments will be appreciated.
09 January 2007
25. A training project
I had to produce a formal document stating how I was going to train him during these 580 hours. Here's my translation from the French of my 'Proposition for a training project giving access to an enterprise':
This is a training program targeted to the employment of a young person wishing to learn the potters craft.
The process of making a ceramic is rather simple but its mastering requires a good experience which you can only acquire progressively.
Like for any manual profession you must first and foremost have a taste or a talent for manual work. As for pottery, the taste starts with a liking for 'shape'. The potter's job is to reproduce a given shape into clay, and then make it solid and durable.
TRAINING WITHIN THE ENTERPRISE
A. The idea of 'shape'(lasting 26 hrs):
Introduction to various shapes is done continuously throughout the training,
1) By reading books on the subject:
- "La poterie", J. Chavarria, Gründ edition 1994
- "Le modelage", D. Nour-Margeault
- "La poterie à la main", A. Riedinger
- any other book on the subject available at a public library
2) By visiting museums:
- the Argentomagus gallo-roman museum in Argenton-sur-Creuse
- Adrien Dubouche in Limoges
- the diocese museum in Limoges
- the Campana gallery at the Louvre museum in Paris
- the museum at the potters village in La Borne
3) By being aware of objects everywhere at all times:
Pottery being a traditional art, it is possible to be introduced to shapes by visiting antique dealers or even garage sales.
B. Reproduction into clay (lasting 300 hrs):
There are three techniques to shape an object from a ball of clay: throwing, handbuilding and casting. The training offered as 'A course of access to the St Civran Pottery studio' will mainly consist of throwing on the potter's wheel:
- kneading the clay
- how to center a ball of clay
- throwing a bowl, a plate, a cylinder
- throwing pots of various shapes
- the finish off
C. Firing in an electric kiln (lasting 54 hrs):
To make it solid and durable a given shape fashioned into clay must then be fired to a very high temperature in a special kiln.
The studio is equiped with an electric kiln, Ceradel C128, of a 128 liter volume and able to reach 1300 degrees Celsius. The trainee will learn to prepare and fire a kiln of earthenware pots,
- at first firing (bisque)
- and at second firing (glazing).
D. Glazes and enamels (lasting 100 hrs):
Glazes used at the St Civran Pottery studio are not made on the premises but are bought at a wholesaler's in Limoges. Learning to use these products to glaze the pots is a long process and requires a lot more knowledge than the throwing technique. Within the studio the following methods will be seen:
- glazing by dipping
- glazing by spraying
- glazing by painting
E. Computer skills (lasting 60 hrs):
The 'trainee' will have to be computer literate. Daily use of the computer will be recommended on the premises, using a HP Pavilion computer running a Microsoft XP system with free access to internet:
- learning how to use the keyboard with ten fingers
- read and answer e-mails from the pottery studio's customers
- regular visits to website related to the ceramic industry to keep in touch with new development.
TRAINING OUTSIDE THE ENTERPRISE
The 'trainee' will attend a course in Limoges (lasting 40 hrs) to be acquainted with the enamel on copper traditional techniques.