Each piece of pottery I make requires attention and care during every stage of its creation.
I throw most of my vessels on the wheel, such as the mugs, cups, bowls, and planters. I allow them to dry part way to the leather-hard stage, where the clay is dry enough that the form won’t warp when I handle it, but soft enough that I may carve into the surface.
After I trim excess clay from the bottom of the piece, I then take a soft pencil and sketch the image onto the clay very lightly as a guide. The final step is to carve the image and details into the leather-hard clay. I use a v-shaped wire tool and a needle tool for the finer lines.
Other pieces such as my incense holders and plates are made from a slab of clay, which I roll out to about a 1/6” thickness and smooth with a rib. I use a combination of painting and carving onto each item to achieve the desired effect.
Every piece is fired twice, first to a bisque stage, where the clay is still porous and absorbent. This stage is ideal to add glaze and oxide to decorate and finish the piece. When glaze melts, it turns into a vitreous or glassy surface, and seals the clay from any absorption of water.
The unglazed clay still vitrifies in the glaze firing. The particles of clay shrink closer together as they are heated to thousands of degrees, then slowly cooled. This provides a hard, stain resistant surface.
My final step is sanding any exposed clay to create a silky smooth surface. Touch, feel, and utility are just as important to me as beauty and aesthetics.
To learn how to care for your pieces, please take a look at my Pottery Care page.