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The Ceramic Process

The Ceramic Process

Ceramics can be very time consuming.

First you need a bag of clay then an idea.

I started making these bottles because I wanted to get better at joins and making mugs that wouldn’t crack.

So I have my clay and a sort of idea but not really any skills at making bottles.

I start making and I have to monitor moisture levels in the clay it can’t be too dry or wet. If I’m joining they need a similar moisture content.

It’s a bit of a juggling act. I need things to dry a bit to support its weight.

Then when I finish a piece it has to dry slowly. Things can take a week 

Then I bisque fire it which takes 24 hours.

Hopefully nothing exploded in the kiln because it wasn’t dry enough or cracked because things just crack.

Then I have to glaze this can be a quick dip or hours of painstaking painting by hand. You only know what your glazes will do by doing many tests. I have at least 600 glaze tests on my wall.

Then I fire again. For 24 hours.

When I open the kiln I’m hoping that my 1280c temp didn’t …

… Warp …

… Crack …

… Split joins and leak …

… Stick to shelves …

… Stick to each other …

… Or I glazed too thick or too thin …

… Or the glazes just looked ugly and obscured the work or didn’t compliment the work.

It’s hard to spend hours making a piece for it to crack in the kiln. But the successes are worth it. And you learn something every single time. It’s always an experiment. Ceramics is real alchemy at times

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