Creating out of clay is at times incredibly therapeutic and at others extremely challenging. As someone who loves details, I enjoy the challenge of refining each step of the process and the excitement of experimenting. Of course I enjoy the finished pieces, but the process and interaction with the material itself are why I continue to create.
To give you an idea of what it takes to make one of my pieces, the whole process can take up to 10 days. First, I carefully choose the raw materials for my desired end result, and mix and prepare the clay. Once the clay is ready, I throw my forms on an electric wheel. Each piece takes 15-35 minutes to throw. Before firing, I trim the pieces and create a foot for the bottom of each piece. Next, I bisque fire the pieces. This process prepares the clay for glaze and takes a day and a half in the kiln.
Before I glaze the pieces, I do in-depth research on glaze recipes. It’s incredibly important to me that the pieces you purchase are easy and safe to use. That’s why I craft glazes that are microwave and dishwasher safe and not harmful at all. Once the glaze is perfect, I apply it to the pieces. They then go back into a different kiln for the longest and most controlled firing. To get the finishes I want, I closely control the temperature and how fast it heats as well as how much gas and oxygen is in the kiln. This can take up to two days.
Opening up the kiln after the glaze firing is the most exciting part of the process. No matter how many times you’ve glazed and fired a piece, it always looks a little different, which makes each piece unique. To finish, I sand the bottom of each piece so that it is extremely soft and pleasant to the touch.