Clay Technician

The Des Moines Art Center is a world-class museum in the heart of the Midwest. With a focus on contemporary art, it has amassed an important collection exhibited in three major buildings, on the grounds, and downtown in the John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park. In addition, the Art Center presents thought-provoking exhibitions, educational programs and hands-on studio art classes.


The Clay Technician provides instructional coaching and supervision to the ceramics studio. Organizes and maintains the ceramic studios including but not limited to glaze mixing, clay processing and firing studio work in the kilns.

Essential Functions

  • Supervises open studio sessions
    • Monitors student’s use of equipment and materials
    • Assists with distributing tools and clay
    • Provides instructional coaching support for students
    • Facilitates cleanup and storage of tools and materials; verifies equipment is turned off  and studio is locked following class
  • Provides excellent internal and external customer service
    • Maintains regular correspondence with Studio Education Manager to communicate supply needs, maintenance issues, production updates, and related matters
    • Must be able to establish and maintain positive working relationships with supervisors, peers, students, parents, and studio monitors
  • Maintains a safe, clean, well-stocked, well-organized ceramics studio
    • Cleans studio surfaces and floors
    • Maintains the cleanliness of tools and equipment to extend the life of studio implements
    • Equips studio with joining slip, wadding, glaze cookies, and test tiles
    • Monitors supply inventory
    • Loads, fires, and unloads kilns; completes firing logs
    • Mixes and tests glazes
    • Prepares and pugs clay


  • Strong organizational skills
  • Detail oriented
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Has a working knowledge of ceramic equipment including wheels, slab rollers, extruder, and pug mill
  • Able to use a scale, hydrometer and liquid measures
  • Knowledge of ceramic chemistry, firing temperatures, glaze properties and related safety requirements
  • Approachable and able to establish and maintain positive working relationships with supervisors, peers, students, parents, and studio monitors
  • Able to follow written and oral instructions; is able to complete multiple tasks with minimal supervision
  • Takes initiative to implement solutions and solve problems
  • Able to load, unload and operate electric and gas kilns; ability to fire kilns is highly preferred
  • One to three years of previous ceramics production experience is preferred

The Clay Technician is a part-time position, regularly scheduled for 15 – 20 hours per week. Afternoon availability is required. In addition to afternoon hours, morning and evening availability is highly desirable.

Starting wage based on skill and experience.

This position will remain open until filled.

Equal Employment Statement

The Art Center is dedicated to equal employment and advancement opportunities. It is the Art Center’s policy to hire and promote qualified individuals on the basis of their qualifications, interest and aptitude, without regard to race, creed, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, genetic information or any other protected group under applicable state, federal or local law.

To be considered for this position, please fill out the application below.

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Personal Information


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Application Materials


Unless otherwise stated, I voluntarily give the Des Moines Art Center the right to make a thorough investigation of my past employment and activities. I agree to cooperate in such investigation, and release from all liability all persons, companies, or corporations supplying such information. If an offer of employment is given, I understand I must successfully complete a pre-employment criminal background check. I am also aware that I will be required to provide proof/identification that I am eligible to work in the United States. I certify that information given in this application is accurate and complete, and understand that inaccurate information may be cause for termination if discovered after employment begins.

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