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Fire in the Kiln! Sylvania welcomes new, functional ceramics space

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This term, the Sylvania Campus had a raku firing party to officially open the brand new ceramics kiln yard next to the CT Building. On Oct. 24, dozens of faculty, staff and students painted pottery and witnessed the first raku firing in the facility. The new kiln yard offers students in the ceramics and sculpture classes a dry and bright space in which to do their thing.

It was made possible by a team of PCC staff, including Kathy Fukuyama (Facilities Management Services college architect), Gene Flores (division dean of Sylvania’s Visual and Performing Arts), Chris Ells (manager of Safety & Risk Management) and Charlie Washburn (visual arts instructor). The team hired THA Architecture Inc., to design the kiln yard and used general contractor Pacificmark Construction to build it. It was a four-month project and was paid for by the college departments involved.

The yard is 40-by-40 feet with an open air design to allow circulation during the firings. The 14-foot high roof is fire treated and is supported by galvanized steel columns. The yard will ultimately house four kilns: a down-draft forced air, raku, wood-burning and soda kilns. Storm water cells, recessed concrete boxes filled with rock and filtering plant material, will collect rain runoff and send it to the storm drain.

“The collaboration made it a very unique building,” said Mark Matthews, owner of Pacificmark Construction. “It’s a very good building. It will actually be nice for the community as well as the students and it gives the staff a chance to show their craft to others as they teach the classes.”

If you’ve ever wondered what a raku firing looks like, check out the video above, especially the last half.

About James Hill

James G. Hill, an award-winning journalist and public relations writer, has been the Communications Specialist for the Office of Public Affairs at Portland Community College since November of 1999. A graduate of Portland State University, J... more »

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x by Danese Jundt 2 years ago

I am so excited for Charlie and Kowkie, the entire VAPAD division and PCC!!! Long awaited and so wonderfully deserved for the awesome team of Ceramics instructors, lab techs and students!!! Also, a shout-out to your dean, Gene Flores, who believes in the art and artist in everyone! Bravo!

x by Pino Bello 2 years ago

That was Great fun to watch! How exciting to have the new yard online and the expanded possibilities for creation and invention! I’m excited, inspired and happy for all of the students and faculty who will benefit from this new resource.

x by Josh 2 years ago

Very cool story and nice video. I have a public speaking class that is right above the kiln area and I like to look down at it waiting for class to start wondering about all the great creations that are coming out of there. Keep up the good work.

x by Feature: PCC unveils its top videos of 2014 | PCC News 2 years ago

[…] Published on Nov 21, 2014: The Sylvania Campus had a raku firing party to officially open the brand new ceramics kiln yard next to the CT Building and we were there camera in hand! Dozens of faculty, staff and students painted pottery and witnessed the first raku firing in the facility. The new kiln yard offers students in the ceramics and sculpture classes a dry and bright space in which to do their thing. Story: news.pcc.edu/2014/12/sylvania-… […]

x by mecquelle nelsann-latta 2 years ago

In regards to the Kiln, Don that was a good informational interview, I am looking forward to seeing it in person, I haven’t been able to access any info to discuss this further with you, I’ve lost my ability to use computer etc, but will do soon and cannot wait to learn more about PCC and the Arts department and all about Portland to see if it is possibly a place for me to reside and go to school, and you can show me all of it. Thanks to the Dept for all the great info and looking forward to meeting everyone there at PCC> Mecquelle

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