For the traditional and time-honored method of pottery making, artisans spin a ball of clay on a wheel. By using hands and fingers to squeeze, pull, and guide the clay, the potter transforms the unassuming lump into a unique shape. The pot dries completely before being fired in a kiln or furnace, which is heated to specific temperatures, depending on the type of clay.
A pottery piece can be fired in a kiln, decorated, and fired again. Each piece can be painted and glazed at various points throughout the firing process. I work primarily in porcelain clay, which is high-fired in a propane-fired kiln.
In ceramics, glazing is a critical factor in color, texture, and waterproofing, and a key indicator of quality. Glazes are typically applied to the formed, dried bisqueware, then baked on in the firing process. The glaze, literally a thin glass coating, can be transparent, colored, or combined with other glazes to create unlimited effects.