I am involved in local associations. I also encourage you to get your hands muddy because art adds richness to our lives so I’ve added listings of local ceramics resources – get muddy and take a class!

Alberta Potters’ Association

The APA also has a wonderful listing of resources, including local Guilds.

Ceramics/Pottery Resources in Calgary

Inspiring Ceramics Sites

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  • Ian Douglas
    Sep 09, 2023 Reply

    To Chasing Fire Studios:

    I live in east downtown Calgary, and I am considering taking instruction in ceramics, porcelain, pottery, etc. in the Calgary area. One possible project in which I am interested is a ceramic jet engine turbine wheel. This would not be a serious attempt at making such a part from an industrial, technical, engineering, or scientific standpoint; rather, it would be a conversation piece or item I could show friends, family, etc. so they could see what can be done. Ceramics are used to make real jet engine turbine wheel blades because they run hotter than even high temperature alloy metal blades; it takes more cooling to keep a metal blade from melting than is needed for a ceramic blade. This makes the jet engine more efficient because less heat must be thrown away if the engine has ceramic blades versus metal blades. Porcelain is not used to make jet engine turbine blades. Modern ceramic jet engine turbine blades are grown as crystals and have tiny air passages inside the blades for cooling; obviously, I cannot incorporate such advanced features in a pottery class project.

    The turbine wheel I am thinking of making would simply be a ceramic disk about 1/4" thick and 6" diameter--made from a sheet or "plate" of raw ceramic--cut out with a sort of "cookie cutter." Then I would make maybe a dozen radial cuts from the periphery about an inch long, and twist the blades thus made, to make a sort of "ceramic fan." This would not create the necessary kind of twist found in real aircraft propellers or turbine wheels, because the blade roots would still be at a flat pitch. Also, I would not be replicating the curved chords and airfoil shapes found in real jet engine turbine blades. I would have to cut out a hole at the exact centre of the disk, for the engine spool spindle.

    Do you have the tools and materials to enable me to do such a project, once I have followed the course syllabus and made a pot or something? I would make the turbine wheel only if there is time left over. Are there any tools or materials I should buy?


    Ian Douglas

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