The Pottery Process
Pottery is a long process with many distinct steps. In that respect it is somewhat like photography, because you are never quite sure of the end result. You can try to pre-visualize the effect you are after, but when you open the kiln, you can be surprised by "happy accidents" as well as by disappointments.
After wedging the clay to remove air bubbles and to help make the clay uniform, the clay is centered on the wheel. Next the clay is opened and pulled up into a form. This is the part of the process that is the most fun and spontaneous.
When the pot has dried until it is firm but still damp, "leather hard", it is recentered on the wheel and the foot is trimmed. At this point, handles and knobs are attached. The piece can also be decorated with stamped designs, carving, or colored slips.
The pot is then allowed to dry completely, "greenware" stage, and loaded into the kiln for the first or "bisque" firing to a temperature of about 1700 degrees F. This is done to prepare the pots for glazing.
A glaze is a mixture of minerals which when fired to a high enough temperature, melt to form a glass coating on the clay. Glazes are weighed out on a scale according to a formula, mixed with water and applied to the pottery by dipping, pouring, or painting.
Next the pot is allowed to dry again is loaded into the kiln for the glaze firing. The kiln is slowly brought up to temperature (2300 degrees F.) over 12 to 14 hours. When the cones (which measure the tremperature in the kiln) have bent, the kiln is allowed to cool slowly for 2 days before it is opened.
Thus pottery making is a long process; it takes about a month to complete a typical pot. All Shanware Pottery is water proof, oven and microwave safe, dishwasher safe, and lead free
1819 Rumney Route 25, Rumney, NH 03266
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