Tag Archives: Pulled Handles

Patience and Pottery Cycles

Vic shaping a pitcher on the wheel
Vic shaping a pitcher on the wheel

There are so many things that provide artists with fairly quick results; photography, some styles of painting, drawing…. It does not take too long before these artists know whether or not they’ve achieved their desired results.

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Squeezing a neck and spout into the pitcher

Of course there are many other arts that require patience, and that’s certainly true for pottery. Even so-called rapid fire methods, like raku, still require time and patience.

Making a Spout
Beginning to Form the Spout

With stoneware pottery waiting for the final results can be a very slow process. From mixing and preparing clay, through creating with clay, drying it, adding engobes or slips, drying a little more, adding handles or knobs or spouts, and drying a little more.

Pitcher Throat
Forming the throat of a spout.

Bisque firing the work, and hoping you’ve dried it enough to prevent warping or cracks from appearing, or engobes flaking off.

Finishing the Details
Finishing the Details

Adding dipped, poured, or sprayed layers of glazes. Drying the pottery again. Oh yes, and drying a full day between the layers to ensure that each glaze is completely dry before another layer is added.

Rack with pottery drying
Pots drying… waiting for trimming, handles and more

Possible firing another bisque, but this time with glazes on the work.

Handled Pitchers Drying
Handled Pitchers Drying

Waxing the pottery in places where you don’t want further glazes to adhere, especially the bases of the pots that stand on shelves in the kiln.

A Sweet Handled Pitcher
A Sweet Handled Pitcher

Applying additional glazes, and then waiting for these to dry before carefully loading the kiln for that all important final glaze temperature firing.

Trimmed Pots and Orders Drying
Trimmed Pots and Orders Drying

Of course it’s important to try to maximize the work coming out of a kiln. That means waiting until you have assorted sized items to take advantage of the space available. Yes, tons of waiting between every step.

Throwing a pitcher
Carefully Loaded Kiln

Once you’ve gone through all these steps you’ve probably been waiting anywhere from 6 weeks to 2 months for some of those special pots to make it to the shelves in your showroom. In fact, you sometimes wait so long you can’t remember what you were hoping to see. Maybe the waiting is a good thing; after all, every time you unload a glaze firing, you’re surprised, and while not every surprise is wonderful, you’re always excited and sometimes blissfully happy.

Unloading a Glaze Fire
Ah yes, time to unload the kiln. Say “ooooh.”

 

Getting Ready for the Country Christmas Tour

With the Cedar and Yellow Point Artisans’ Christmas Tour just 10 days away, the studio is absolutely humming. Lots of beautiful stoneware pottery is drying and waiting for the final bisque firings, including those highly favored mugs.

Pottery Mugs Drying
Pulled Handles on Drying Mugs

And the work continues for special custom orders meant for Christmas gifts, including hexagon shaped dinnerware plates and dessert plates… though working around a studio dog can sometimes proves tricky.

The Studio Dog
The Studio Dog

Of course some of the pottery that has been through the multiple firings is now beginning to find its way into our showroom.

JoVic Pottery Wine Brick and Goblets with Crawl Glaze
Wine Brick and Goblets with Alligator Crawl Glaze by Vic Duffhues

This year’s studio tour will run a full five days. Be sure to pick up a brochure at our studio and enjoy yourself on this lovely self-guided tour through our beautiful area just north of Ladysmith and south of Nanaimo in the Cedar and Yellow Point area of Vancouver Island.cyartisans tour

You’ll find an endless variety of beautiful hand-made gifts, in our own studio and in the many other wonderful studios and gift cottages taking part in the wonderful annual event.

Pitcher with Alligator Crawl Glaze from JoVic Pottery
Crawl Glaze Jug by Vic Duffhues

Tour hours are 10-5 daily, November 19 – 23. and there’s a terrific map in the brochure.

Find JoVic Pottery at Arts on the Avenue

Wet Mugs
Freshly Thrown

Summer is upon us and we’re gearing up for the annual Arts on the Avenue show. This special event has been running for about 16 years, and this year’s line-up of fabulous artists promises to make for another exceptionally beautiful day. It takes place on August 24, 2014. The location is First Avenue in Ladysmith, between Warren and Buller Streets. They, of course, will be closed to traffic, making for a delightful pedestrian experience. So come on out between 10 AM and 4 PM for an incredible day overlooking Oyster Harbour.

mug handles
Handles Waiting for Attachment

We’re hard at work in our own studio to make sure that we have everyone’s favourite mugs on hand for this show–and plenty of them too. They’ll be “muscled” or “textured” for that personal comfortable fit. Making mugs requires so much more effort than many people realize. Aside from mixing, pugging, wedging, and weighing out the appropriate clay balls for throwing on the wheel, our mugs also have to stiffen to a leather-hard stage before they can be handled.

pulling handle
getting it right

Vic likes to “pull” the handles, but to ensure consistently beautiful handles, he starts by preparing a whack of them ahead before attaching to the stiffened mugs and then pulling them into shape almost using a “cow-milking” motion.

The mugs are then carefully dried before they can be put through a low-temperature bisque fire in advance of receiving layers of glazes and engobes. Much of our work now experiences several low-fire applications of engobe and glazes before a final glaze firing can take place.

Welcome to Our Studio
Welcome to Our Studio

If you can’t make it to Arts on the Avenue, don’t worry, our studio is open and we’re always glad to welcome visitors. Our garden is still in bloom, and we’re right near Page Point Inn. We’re also more than happy to tell you about our community here, and have brochures that will guide you on the Cedar and Yellow Point Artisan Trail.

Arts on the AvenueBe sure to enjoy Vancouver Island’s stunning beauty and the artists and artisans who find their inspiration all around.