Heightened interest in working with clay has boosted enrollment in the ceramics program at the Community Center of La Cañada Flintridge in recent years, but the demand is outpacing the center’s ability to provide up-to-date equipment.
The center saw more than 650 people take ceramics courses last year, with students ranging from toddlers to seniors. But the center’s 40-year-old kiln, which fires up the clay pieces to form pottery and sculptures, has reached its age limit. The old oven is a burden to students, slowing down their work process, said Miriam Balcazar, the ceramics department director.
The center, which buys and sells its own clay to students, doesn’t have a budget to purchase new equipment, so ten residents from Glendale to Pasadena formed a guild to raise money for a more energy- and cost-efficient kiln, which Balcazar said will cost from $18,000 to $20,000 to purchase and install.
The Foothills Ceramics Support Guild’s first order of business is a fundraiser on Oct. 23 at the home of La Cañada Flintridge residents Richard and Sandra Godspeed to kick off efforts to buy the new kiln and raise awareness about the 45-year-old ceramics program.