We embrace the process and the uncertainty of working in clay. The process is time consuming and labor intensive, involving many steps along the way. We start with a chunk of mud and using our hands and/or a pottery wheel transform the mud (stoneware or porcelain) into a plate, mug, bowl, vase or some other functional piece (we also make sculpture and wall art tiles), it is at this time we would paint our trees on each piece.
Next the clay needs to dry slowly, once dry it is called greenware and is in it’s most fragile state, next it is fired in our electric kiln to 1944 degrees Fahrenheit (cone 04). This is called a bisque firing.
The bisque firing hardens the clay, so it is porous (able to accept glaze) and easy to handle. The decorating process now begins. We paint a wax resist over the trees at this point and then by dipping, pouring and/or using a brush we create landscapes with glaze. We use multiple coats and overlap colors in creating our landscapes.
The final step is the glaze firing, slowly ramping our kiln up to 2165 or 2199 degrees Fahrenheit (cone 5 or 6). The kiln takes about 10 hours to reach temperature and another 10 to 12 hours to cool down before we can open it.
Now the beautiful trees and landscapes are revealed!
When making pottery without our trees we use the same process and wax resist is used only if we are covering a design.