Dinnerware Raw Materials Generalist

Saualito, CA
Full Time
Facilities
Entry Level

About Heath 

Heath Ceramics is a California company making dinnerware and architectural tile of good and enduring design for over 70 years. We are design-led, with the mission of creating products of beauty and integrity, while designing, manufacturing, and running our business in a way that's better for society and our planet. By taking responsibility for the entire lifecycle, we offer better products and experiences from beginning to end. We believe in the benefits of local manufacturing and support a community of people committed to and inspired by the process of designing, making, and sharing. We believe in providing a living wage, full health and welfare benefits, and a place for meaningful work. 

Position Summary 

The Dinnerware Raw Materials Generalist is responsible for making clay filter cakes, casting slip, glazes, tile clay, dinnerware clay, and molds per business needs.  Dinnerware Raw Material Generalist will also be assigned wastewater and kiln firing duties.

Responsibilities

Slip Making

  • Batching fresh manganese clay according to recipe requirements
  • Batching fresh white clay according to recipe requirements
  • Batching casting slip according to recipe requirements
  • Operating the vibratory screen to sieve the clay
  • Adjusting the rheological properties of the clay body
  • Operating the filter presses
  • Operating the dust collection system
  • Pressure washing the slip making area daily
  • Operating displacement pumps to transfer materials
  • Making filter cakes using the filter presses
  • Making casting slip using the slip blungers
  • Batching fresh clay using the mixing blungers
  • Maintaining the proportions between fresh and reclaimed clay
  • Mix, screen, and press dinnerware clay, both white and manganese bodies, based on production needs
  • Batch casting slips, supply slip caster with slip, and recycle casting scrap
  • Adjust and balance casting slip using a viscometer and specific gravity cup
  • Collecting scrap clay from around the plant for recycling

Kiln Firing

  • Gas Kiln Firing
    • Lighting the kilns
    • Turning up the burners on a determined schedule
    • Balancing the firing in the end so the kiln is uniformly fired
    • Documenting the firing process
    • Taking accurate instrument readings
    • Measuring and recording the results of the firing
    •  Maintaining the burners on a daily basis
    • Carefully monitoring the product in the bisque kiln and correcting any quality control issues
  • Electric Kiln Firing
    • Turning the three electric kilns on and off on a set schedule as needed
    •  Loading and unloading the kilns
    • Counting the pieces as part of the unloading process
    • Recording the count and providing to the Dinnerware Production Planner
    • Collaborating with dinnerware production management and other concerned parties regarding the results of each kiln firing
    • Supports annual kiln maintenance for all kiln components
    • Supports technical adjustments to the kilns, i.e. measuring and adjusting the dampers

Glaze Making

  • Storage area for materials
  • Transferring glaze materials properly
  • Identifying bags of materials and properly placing in correct containers
  • Identifying slight differences in materials according to size, feel, texture, and behavior
  • Learning the basic glaze formulas, materials, and the order in which they are added to the glaze recipes
  • Batching the glaze according to specific recipes
  • Measuring viscosity and specific gravity using the correct equipment
  • Adjusting basic rheological properties including viscosity and specific gravity
  • Understanding screen selection (60 mesh, 80 mesh, or 120 mesh) for base glazes
  • Preparing and firing test samples for glaze batches
  • Comparing fired test samples against the standard glaze: color matching, texture, opacity/translucency, contaminates and reporting results to the senior Glazemaker
  • Maintaining glaze storage area at a high standard of safety and cleanliness
  • Basic understanding of the firing and quality control processes
  • Preparing glazes to specification for dinnerware and tile production 
  • Coordinating with key dinnerware production employees to maintain optimal quantities of prepared glazes
  • Keeping glaze making station clean and organized

Required skills, knowledge and experience

  • Forklift certification
  • Excellent time management skills, ability to work independently and very organized
  • Desire to work in a plant environment and to be “hands on”
  • Great people skills: must be patient, flexible, and calm
  • Prior mold making experience a plus
  • Excellent tactile skills/craftsmanship
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Basic understanding of kiln firing processes
  • Follow production glaze lists and record all production accurately

Physical Requirements (Heavy)

  • Ability to lift 20- 50 lbs approximately 200 times per day; standing approximately 90% of the day

  • Other activities include climbing, balancing, kneeling, reaching, standing, walking, pushing, pulling, lifting, repetitive motion, grasping, and feeling.

    Visual Acuity Requirements (including color, depth perception, and field vision)

The worker is required to have close visual acuity to perform activities such as: cleaning and maintaining surfaces; visual inspection of machinery. The worker will also need visual acuity to determine the accuracy, neatness, and thoroughness of the work assigned. 

Work Environment/ Hours / Compensation

This position is a full-time, Union role that works onsite from our Sausalito Factory. This position pays $25-$26/hourly based on experience. The working hours for this position are Monday - Friday, 40 hours per week. This position reports to the Dinnerware Production Manager and has a close working relationship with Heath's Claymakers, Forming Lead, Forming Process Technician, Dinnerware Production Supervisors, Slipmaker, Die and Mold Generalists,  Process Engineer, Glazing Lead, Quality Control Lead, Glazing Generalists, Glazing Lead, and Lab Technicians.

Benefits

We are committed to your health and well-being. Heath offers a comprehensive benefits package for full-time employees that includes a choice of medical plans, dental, vision, acupuncture, and chiropractic, as well life insurance – premiums are 100% paid for employees. An annual 401(k) contribution that grows with job tenure. Our Employee Stock Ownership Plan provides an additional retirement benefit linked to the long-term performance of the company. We offer a generous time-off allocation and a great discount on all Heath Ceramics products.

Proud Equal Opportunity Employer

At Heath, we don’t just accept differences — we celebrate it, we support it. Heath is proud to be an equal opportunity workplace. Our goal is to be a diverse workforce at all job levels. We are committed to building a team that represents a variety of backgrounds, perspectives, and skills. The more inclusive we are, the better our work will be. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, transgender status, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status.

How to Apply

If you would like to be considered for this role please apply through this application process, attaching your resume. Thank you for your interest!

 

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