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Pottery Process

The #1 question that I’m asked is how did you make that. Here’s the answer in a few simple, high level steps…


In the beginning it’s just a lump of clay that must be shaped into something useful. Ninety percent of my work is done on the potters wheel. At this point it is called greenware. Greenware is very delicate and can easily break. Once greenware is bone dry it must then be fired to remove moisture and other impurities from the clay.

 This first firing which goes to about 1800 degrees is called the bisque firing. In my kiln it takes about 8 hours to reach the 1800 degrees and then another 6-7 hours to cool down to 200 degrees at which time the pots can be removed from the kiln. The bisque pots feel much like an unglazed terracotta planter you might find in Walmart and are now ready for glazing.

Glaze is added to the bisque pots. It’s the glaze that creates the the finished pot. Once the pots are glazed they are ready for the glaze firing which goes to about 2100 degrees. This firing takes 10 hours and about 8 hours to cool down. Once the lid on the kiln is closed the kiln gods take over. Glaze firing can be like a box of chocolates – you never know what you’re going to get.

Once the kiln has cooled down to 100 degrees it can be opened and unloaded. Its at this point the newly glazed pots can be admired or thrown in the trash.