Most pots I make begin with a high iron stoneware. Iron is what gives the clay that rich, red colour. Occasionally I work with a white clay that is a little closer to porcelain but I always come back to that earthy, red colour. I also find it is a durable clay, able to withstand the bumps of daily life and I do hope the objects I make get used daily. I work primarily on the potters wheel. A process that has been used since about 3000 BCE.
So many of the techniques and processes I use were developed thousands of years ago and I am indebted to my ceramic ancestors for their wisdom and experimentation.
Because the clay becomes saturated with water during the wheel throwing process, they must dry for 12-24 hours before they can be finished. I return to the pots the next day to trim them, alter and add attachments such as handles, knobs or spouts.
The pots are then left to dry completely, until they are "bone dry". At this point they are bisque fired in an electric kiln to 1750 F. After the bisque fire, the pots are gently sanded and washed before being glazed. I develop my own food safe glazes in the studio, which requires testing and patience to create the perfect colours and textures. Once the pots are glazed they return to the kiln for a second firing to 2200 F. It is a long process with many stages on the journey from concept to completion and there is a little uncertainty and magic to it all.
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