Customers are sometimes surprised at the length of time it takes before they can collect their ceramic masterpieces.
We work on a completion period of one month from day of making.
Most of this time is drying time, dedicated to ensuring the work is bone dry through-out. If you attempt to fire a wet or slightly damp pot, the water in the clay will bubble and steam at 100 degrees on the kiln’s accent to 1000 degrees. As you can probably imagine the boiling water causes catastrophic damage to the clay with objects prone to exploding or splitting apart.
The first firing is called the bisque firing and takes a couple of days. When the pots emerge from the kiln, they have made an irreversible transition. They are now ceramic, but are still quite soft and porous.
The bisque pots are dipped into a bucket of un-melted glass particles in suspension. The glaze particles cling to the surface of the pot forming a layer of powder resembling a heavy frost.
Once the bottoms of the pots have been wiped clear of glaze, they are loaded back into the kiln for a second ‘glaze’ firing. The pots are fired higher this time to a temperature of 1080 degrees Celsius. This allows the glaze particles to melt, forming a smooth glassy surface on top of the ceramic.
Two days later, the finished items are unloaded from the kiln.
Phew! So much process, so much time!