Gymnasium of Crafts

The Gymnasium of Crafts is FICA's open atelier mode. Here you can enjoy a space,
with equipment and tools, to continue producing your parts individually.

The Gymnasium of Crafts is designed for those who have already had some contact with the technique in question, but want to pursue it further or build specific projects. We therefore recommend that you attend a workshop before signing up for this course. After this contact, you can come to the gym, where a technician will be present to advise you on specific projects and answer any technical questions.

craft gym - potter's wheel
trades gymnasium
trades gym - ceramics
trades gym - ceramics


In CeramicThe free use of glazes, engobes and paints is included in all plans. Batches are included depending on the number of sessions in your monthly plan. Batches are not included for hourly use or single sessions. The cost varies according to the size of your pieces. All the tools are available for all residents to use. The folder is the only thing you'll have to buy separately, we have several options available for sale in our store.

Deliveries included (monthly plans)*
1 session plan - Batch up to 20L
2-session plan - Batch up to 40L

*20L is the equivalent of one shelf. It doesn't have to be done all at once, you can cook the pieces to the equivalent capacity over the course of the month. Find out more about the outdoor oven service here. The capacity included must be used in the corresponding month and cannot be carried over to subsequent months.


4 Potter's Wheels - WhisperT by Shimpo
Manual turnstiles
Wooden and fabric bases
Rolls and rulers
Teaks, kidneys, sponges and brushes
Various molds
Stencils and textures
Bowls, vats and buckets
Barros e Grés*

*Consult the ceramic pastes in the store

gymnasium of trades - screen printing

In screen printing

In Screen PrintingAll plans include the engraving of one canvas per session, as well as all tools, such as printing bases, squeegees, spatulas, tape or spray. The use of our screens and their engraving (emulsion+exposure+recovery) is included according to your plan. Printing photoliths up to A2 and using the full range of our inks for paper and/or fabric comes at a special price, which can be found in the price list below.

Screen exposure included (emulsion+exposure)*
1 session plan - up to 4 exhibitions/month
2-session plan - up to 8 exhibitions/month

*For plans and sessions, the exposure (+ emulsifying and recovering) is done by you independently. The photolithograph is not included. The number of exposures corresponds to the maximum amount that each person can make in a month. Leftover exposures are not carried over to subsequent months.


Screens from A4 to A2, 43T to 120T
Manual printing bases
2 Print carousels
Drying rack 100x70cm
Top 3mx2.40m for stamping by the meter
Various racks
Spatulas and test paper
Tape and spray glue
Fabric and Paper Paints*
Photolitho printing*
Fine Paper*

*See price list above


trades gym - ceramics
trades gymnasium
gymnasium of trades - screen printing


I want to sign up for the Gymnasium of Crafts, how do I do it?

Send us an email to ginasio@fica-oc.pt with your details and tell us the technique/ trade you want to work on.

Can anyone attend the Gymnasium of Crafts?

Yes, anyone of legal age (18+) who is responsible for the workshop (all users sign a liability form).

I'm a beginner, can I go to the Gymnasium of Crafts?

Of course you can, if you've already taken at least a 9-hour workshop with us. However, if you don't have the basic knowledge, we recommend that you start with something more structured, such as our training courses. here. After training, you can then attend the trades gym.

What technical assistance will I get?

A technician will be present, available for project advice and any assistance you may need. It's not intended to be structured like a training session, so you'll need to have a basic understanding of the technique. He won't be doing the work for you and he won't be dedicated to you at 100% (there can be up to 9 people in the session), but he will be prepared to assist you with your projects.

How do I prove that I have knowledge of a technique?

FICA is based on trust in others. However, if, on first contact, we feel that it would be better for you to invest in training to ensure the success of your project, we will recommend it. 

As a resident, am I entitled to a dedicated/private workspace?

The Gymnasium of Crafts is not intended to be a co-working space. It works in hot-desking mode, i.e. in the workshop the workspaces and tools are shared. At the end of each session, all the tables must be free and clear, ready to receive residents from the next session. No one has access to a private workspace or table where they can leave objects and pieces. However, all members are entitled to a storage shelf.

Why sessions at specific times instead of open access?

Getting access to our workshop requires a lot of organization on our part. FICA has its own projects, we take orders and we do many hours of training a week. For all this to work, we have to organize the calendar and define different uses for each workshop space. That way we try to ensure that no unforeseen events happen.

Why 3-hour sessions?

Any of the techniques you can work on in the workshop, because they are mostly manual, require a series of processes that make it difficult to carry them out in less time.

Can I split the hours of a session over two sessions?

No. Each session is 3 hours long, so whether you do 1 hour or 2 hours, you won't be able to use the remaining time for another period.

I missed a session, can I make it up on another day?

Whenever there is availability in the workshop, another time can be scheduled for your session to be used, preferably in the same month. We prefer that you choose the same time slot whenever possible and that you let us know if you anticipate missing it. However, sessions not used in the monthly period cannot be carried over to the following month.

What do monthly plans mean?

Monthly plans are those that provide for regular use of the workshop, at least 1 session per week.

Do I have to make an appointment?

In the monthly plans you need to indicate the periods you want to attend, so that you always have a place in those sessions. For example, if you have a plan for 1 session a week and you choose Tuesday from 6pm to 9pm, you'll have a slot in that period for the whole month. This is the only way we can guarantee that, when you want to come, we'll have a workspace available for you.

If you don't want to book a specific period in advance (at the time of payment/monthly), the availability of places is subject to the maximum capacity of each space and you may not be guaranteed a place. However, you must always book each session 7 days in advance.

Single sessions are booked in advance and are subject to the maximum capacity of each venue.

Can I only go to the Gym for occasional use?

You can attend the crafts gym just for a single session, without any monthly commitment. 

Do I have to make an appointment every month?

If you want to use the workshop regularly with one of our monthly plans, i.e. consecutively every month, the booked periods are always carried over to the following month, unless you want to change the periods. However, this is always subject to availability.

How many vacancies are there?

Each space has a different capacity. For ceramics, all periods have a capacity of 9 places + 4 places for the potter's wheel. For screen printing, all periods have a capacity of 4 places. 

What happens when a session is complete?

As the Gymnasium works by appointment, it is easier to control occupancy. Therefore, in order to secure your place and have a workspace available for you, it is essential to book in advance. If you book your sessions, you are always guaranteed a place. Only when you don't want to book specific days/times will you be subject to available slots.

I'm using dangerous machinery, am I covered by any kind of insurance?

Yes, FICA guarantees third-party liability insurance for all workshop and craft gym users. For everyone's safety, as soon as you arrive at the workshop we ask you to read and sign the contract of use, where everything is explained to you in detail.

Will I find a quiet place to work at the Gymnasium of Crafts?

No. We are a multi-skilled workshop, so there will probably always be some noise, but we avoid it continuously and ask all residents to be quiet when using the Gymnasium.

Does the Gym guarantee access to workshops?

No. Membership of the Gymnasium of Crafts does not guarantee access to training.


What is included in Ceramics?

Ceramics include the free use of glazes, engobes and paints in all monthly plans. Firing is included according to the number of sessions in your monthly plan (only for pieces built here, everything else will be charged separately according to the firing plan).
All the tools are available for use in the Gym.
We have various low and high temperature ceramic pastes available for purchase in our store. Make sure you have storage space for your paste so you can leave it here.

Hourly rates and single sessions do not include kilns, glazes, engobes or paints.

Are there specific conditions for Ceramics?

We recommend using our ceramic pastes and engobes. They have been tested many times, so we know what kind of programs to use when firing. Samples of the ceramic pastes with and without glaze, at different temperatures, as well as samples of the colors of the engobes, are available in the workshop.

When you bring in ceramic paste from outside, you will have to sign a disclaimer and bear the cost of any damage it may cause to the muffle.

Where can I store my ceramic pieces?

Each resident is entitled to a shelf for parts in process and storage space (25x35x25cm) for general storage. The storage area is in a shared space, so don't keep valuable items.

FICA cannot be held responsible for the disappearance of any object.

Can I glaze my pieces at the Gymnasium of Crafts?

If you already have glazing skills or have taken a workshop with us, you can glaze your pieces here. Find out more about this specific plan here.

Are potter's wheels available? How do they work?

Yes, we have 4 potter's wheels that can be used. Use of the potter's wheel must be booked 7 days in advance.


Are there any specific conditions?

The inks to be used must be purchased or used from FICA. We have our own screen printing inks for both paper and fabric. You will only be allowed to use other types of inks when working on your own canvases.

What is included in Screen Printing?

In Screen Printing (monthly plans and single sessions), printing bases, squeegees, spatulas, test paper, glue tape, spray glue, as well as one screen opening (emulsion+exposure+recovery) per session are available free of charge for use in the Gym. Screens (rental or purchase), inks, fine paper and photolithographs are available for purchase in our store.