Drying Pottery, Jugs, Vases

Pottery is rarely something that provides instant gratification. Our work requires clay preparation, wedging, and preparing balls of appropriate sizes for the wheel-work to follow. We cannot even attach handles, or trim the feet of the pots until they’ve reached the appropriate leather-hard stage.

wet and without handles
wet and without handles

Once we have managed that step, we need to patiently wait for the pots to reach a bone-dry state before we can follow that step with firing.

Pretty Handles
Pretty Handles

Vic’s jugs and pitchers are special. The jugs are made in one piece, and Vic takes special pleasure insuring they have comfortable and attractive pulled handles.

Handled Pitchers, with Comfortable Holds
Handled Pitchers, with Comfortable Holds

Once the pottery is actually dry, we have to continue with the firing process. The first firing leaves the pottery in what is known as bisque ware stages. It’s a little bit porous, which assists in the glaze process that comes next. The minerals we use for glazing are suspended in water, and the bisque ware absorbs that water while the mineral glaze mixture dries into a powdered state on the pottery. Yes, that takes time too, and once again we wait before we can place the work into the kiln for the next step. The final firing (provided there are only two of them) brings the work up to a stoneware temperature. It becomes as dense as stone and is then able to hold food and liquid making it exceptionally functional.

Drying Pots
Drying and Ready to Bisque Fire

I’ll try to post pictures of these pots once they’re finished. This series is most likely to receive at least three firings, and I’m looking forward to seeing them. I hope you are too.

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