Clay is turned into ceramic in an electric kiln before being glazed and finished.
In September 2015, technology company R&R Voice and Data donated $5,900 to purchase a new electric kiln for the Ceramics department. The kiln will be installed in the Ceramics kiln room on the first floor of Murphy Hall.
With about 50 students in Ceramics courses each semester, the kilns are used heavily, with students firing pottery and sculpture of earthenware, stoneware, and porcelain almost every day. The electric kilns are used for bisquing, or the initial firing that turns the clay piece into ceramic and makes it ready to glaze, before firing in the gas kilns complete the pieces.
The kiln also will be used to fire bowls for Arcadia University’s annual Empty Bowl Benefit Dinner. Over 22 years, the benefit has raised more than $125,000, with proceeds benefiting Interfaith Hospitality Network, Heifer International, and The Hunger Project.
“This will allow us to fire the ever-growing number of empty bowls during a time in the semester where demand for class-related firings is high,” said Gregg Moore, associate professor of Art and Design.
Last year, more than 22 classes made bowls in the Community Engagement Office, creating more than 400 bowls that were fired in Arcadia’s ceramics studio.
Based in Hatfield, Pa., R&R specializes in the design, installation, and maintenance of unified communications, IP VOIP, and digital phone systems; network and communications cabling (fiber optics and copper); IP surveillance; access control; and security solutions.
“R&R Voice and Data feels extremely fortunate for the opportunities we have been presented here at Arcadia University,” said Ray Miller, president of R&R. “When it was brought to our attention that this spectacular event was faced with a major setback due to the need to purchase a new kiln, we felt this would be a great opportunity for us to show our gratitude, and what better way to display that than to donate to such a worthy cause.”