I want to share a quick rundown of what goes into making pottery. There are quite a few steps. It starts with a decision of what to make and prepping the clay. I wedge the clay to remove air bubbles, which is very much like kneading bread. Then I make the piece, either throwing it on the wheel, hand building it or using the slab roller to start with a flattened piece of clay. After the piece is made, it has to slowly dry to the leather hard stage. This stage is where I can alter the clay by adding a handle, trimming a foot or changing the shape slightly to name a few things. After this is done, it needs to dry completely and then it’s ready to be bisque fired. Now it’s time to glaze and then it goes back into the kiln to be glaze fired.
My kiln fires approximately 10 hours each time and must cool slowly over roughly 12 hours. I’m always excited to finally open the kiln and see what’s inside! When the time comes to open the lid, I still have to wait a few hours before removing the pieces from the kiln as it continues to cool down. I can glaze with certain outcomes in mind, but I never know how it’s going to look until that moment. A potter friend of mine once told me “You never know if it’s going to be Christmas or Halloween” and he was right!
Now that the kiln is unloaded, it’s time to take my pottery outside and find the perfect spot to photograph it. When I was first taking photos for my new website, I discovered a flat rock in a flowerbed full of leaves that made the perfect backdrop and the phrase ‘taking it to the rock’ meant I had just unloaded the kiln and there were new pieces completed! Now I have a few spots set up around my yard and it depends on the season and the time of day to get the right lighting and backdrop. Then it’s back inside for some computer time to get new pottery added to the website.
This is the basic version of steps it takes and it leaves out the creative fun side of the whole process that keeps it from being just a process. There are hours of shaping, trimming, drying, glazing and firing that go into every piece. I believe that in those hours, my pottery is infused with love and happiness and music and smiles, which is what makes that favorite mug or bowl or vase so special.
My pottery is made to be enjoyed everyday! I hope you will check back often to see the new pieces that have been taken to the rock. Remember to buy handmade whenever you can!