The process of making , drying and firing a ceramic piece take about 3 weeks
I work with 3 types of clay, an red earthenware with 10% grog, a speckled stoneware and a porcelain clay. Clay is kneaded and wedged before throwing or hand building.
I try and reclaim any unfired clay by soaking it down, drying and kneading it again. I hope our solar panels offset most of the energy used in firing.
I love throwing. have an electric wheel and an amazing old kick wheel (mainly for throwing bigger pieces and turning) that my husband built about 40+ years ago.
Thrown work has to dry to a ‘leather hard’ stage and then put back on the wheel and the base trim or ‘turned’ After turning, handles can be made and put on.
At this stage pots made from earthenware (red) clay have a cream slip applied and when leather hard sgrafitto designs are drawn and underglazes painted on.
I use a slab roller, sometimes an extruder and a range of formers, plus endless tools for creating textures.
Glazing and decoration
I use some bought glazes and also mix my own from raw ingredients. All glazes are food and dishwasher safe, though I personally would hand wash large pieces.