Cdnpearly's Blog

Pearl's musings

Pottery: from mud to magnificent! April 29, 2010

So, it all starts with a lump of clay–in this case, porcelain, the queen of the clays!

Next, you throw it (literally!) on the wheel.  Sometime it turns out, and sometimes it doesn’t.  One of the gifts of clay is that you can always start over and make something more pleasing.

When you’re happy with the shape, you let it sit till it gets leather hard–it’s called greenware at this point.

You then have the opportunity to trim (fix up) the piece one more time.  Removing extraneous clay, creating a pleasing foot, smoothing rough textures.  You can also embellish the piece with stamps or colors at this point.

The greenware goes into the kiln for the first time. After this firing, the piece is called bisqueware. 

Next up?  Glazing! Dipping, pouring, combinations, textures, interruptions…so many many options and as many outcomes!  This glaze for example generally turns out to be a creamy white to pale yellow finish.

Once again into the kiln where it gets freakin’ hot.  Up to 2381 degrees Fahrenheit actually!  It takes quite some time to complete this process and to cool down.  Finally the kilns are unloaded and viola!  There is your masterpiece!

Thanks to all my models: Thalia, Lucie and Joan.

Thanks to the amazing pottery program offered by Santa Barbara City College Adult Education at the Schott Center.  And mostly, thanks to Barbara my teacher.


2 Responses to “Pottery: from mud to magnificent!”

  1. Thalia Says:

    It is so amazing to see photos of the studio and have the whole process laid out. Gives me a fresh look from the “outside”, even when I can see my own pot in one of the photos!

    Nicely done, my friend!

  2. Melissa Says:

    Absolutely fascinating! Thanks for sharing your love! It is so interesting to see a clump of “mud” form into something beautiful.

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