905-753-2731 susan@potterystudio.ca

I’m in the Northumberland Studio Tour next weekend, and the question that I will hear most often is “how long does it take you to make” whatever it is a person is interested in …  So here goes!

First, you make the piece (or pieces if you’re making a teapot or things with handles), and trim them to the shape you want.

Bowl for trimming …

Trimmings from bowls & cups …

Trimmings from the bowls and cups …

Then you put all of the pieces together and dry them slowly (so they don’t crack).  

Teaset drying getting ready to fire.

Slip the bowls while they are still damp (so they don’t crack), and get them into the cupboard quick!  Let them sit for a couple of days before they come out and dry completely.

Slipped bowls in the damp cupboard.

Drying in the main studio until there’s enough to fill a kiln:

Waiting for a ride to the kiln …

Once they are dry, we skip them out to the kiln (which is outside, of course …)

Path to kiln in winter, now it’s just wet!

Then we bring them all back into the studio and wax them …

All waxed and waiting for glaze.

Then they are glazed, and given a day or two to dry before they go back into the kiln again …

Glazed and waiting for kiln.

And then we load up the kiln —

Loading the kiln …

And say a prayer to the kiln gods … and wait for the final results.  Then, of course, we pack it all up and take it to wherever we are showing it.  Makes origami look simple, eh?

The kiln is at about 800 degrees F right now, and when it gets down to 300 I’ll take a peek.  I like to wait until it’s about 150, unless I’m in a rush … which I will be when the next kiln load goes in before Friday!  I don’t usually leave things until the last minute.  I like to be prepared.  But this last couple of months has been totally taken up with non-pottery things and I’m just catching up now.

Will post pics tomorrow of what comes out of the kiln.  In the meantime, here’s how I decorate those tree pots!


How long does it take?  That’s a good question … how long to get the skills to create the work (depends on how finished you like your pots to be)?  Tony Clennell tells me it takes about 15 years of work in clay to begin to develop your style and finishes.  I think that’s about right.  How long for each individual pot?  That’s a hard question to answer.  Depends on when you start your calculation.  Is it from the wedging of the clay and the throwing of each pot? The trimming?  The first firing?The waxing?  The glazing? The second firing?  Have to give that some more thought!

Hope to see you all at the tour!  I’ll be in Grafton with Anja Hertle (along with Charles Funnell).  There may be cookies too …

Hope you’re having a great day!

Susan McD