So how are those pieces made?
I get that question rather a lot, and find that pictures are worth more than words in trying to explain. So…here’s a quick recap of the steps that went into creating three recent pieces.
Once each piece had dried to a leather-hard consistency, I painted colored underglazes onto the raw clay. I may use only one color, or layer a few together to get the shades I want. It can be tricky judging color at this stage because the wet clay and wet underglazes are NOT going to look the same once fired.
Nevertheless, with my best effort at the underglazes in place, I started carving to expose my design.
Drying – Slowly – and Into the Kiln…
SLOW drying is key. Followed by a first firing to a relatively low temperature.
Waiting for Glaze…and Another Firing…
Once fired, the work is bone dry and ready for final glazing. I sometimes paint additional underglaze colors into a design at this point, but each of these pieces went straight into a final glaze. The last step is the second firing to the final, highest temperature. Fingers remain crossed during this entire stage – and, then…