February’s Second Saturday at Ceramic Supply Chicago will feature Mike Sievers from Skutt Ceramic Products in Portland, Oregon.  Mr. Sievers is the Director of Marketing at Skutt and an expert in the operation and maintenance of kilns.  He will present a very useful seminar on various aspects of kiln use.  He says, “This information can be applied to all makes of kilns, not just Skutt products, and is useful for both teachers and potters, alike.” 


Mr. Sievers will customize his presentation for the skill level of workshop participants.  He will cover a comprehensive range of topics, starting with how to properly, safely, and efficiently set up the kiln room.  He will discuss the importance and types of venting, for both the room and the kiln, touching on how this often-overlooked factor can influence kiln life and the quality of fired pieces.  Next, he will review programming the kiln, comparing the advantages of manual and automatic programming.  He will provide a pre-firing check-list, discuss things to do during and after firing, and go over some basic maintenance tips that will make the kiln last longer.  Finally, he will demonstrate how to make simple repairs, such as changing an element.

With over 23 years of experience at Skutt, Mr. Sievers inevitably has tried his hand at throwing pots.  When asked if he is a potter, he jests, “I throw pots, but no!  I make about eight to ten bad pots a year.”   Trained as a filmmaker, with a marketing major as back-up, Mr. Sievers has made several full-length documentary videos about noteworthy potters, including Stephen Hill, Robin Hopper, and Tom Turner.  His knowledge of the field is comprehensive.  While his role at Skutt encompasses all aspects of the company’s marketing, he has an excellent mechanical knowledge of the products they sell.  “Both my father and my grandfather were electrical engineers,” he says, “but I wanted to make films.”  Clearly he inherited some of their mechanical know-how. 


Mr. Sievers will give two presentations at the Ceramic Supply Chicago facility at 2480 Delta Lane in Elk Grove Village.  Check back here for exact times.  Cost per person is $25.


Call 847.425.1900 to register.