THE PROCESS

 

The process by which a work of art is created out of clay has been explored for thousands of years, and yet so much of its mystery remains today.

 

The list below is a summary of what goes into making a simple vase. The following pages give more detail, but still barely touch on the complexities:

 

1) Clay (a clay is chosen based on the kind of pot, it's intended shape, and purpose)

2) Wedging (the clay is kneaded, like bread dough, to prepare and strengthen it)

3) Centering (the clay is put on the wheel and centered so it spins evenly)

4) Opening & Throwing (with the wheel turning, the potter pushes a hole into the

center of the clay, and then the clay is squeezed between the potter's hands to bring up the walls of the pot)

5) Partial Drying (the thrown pot is allowed to dry partially, so that it will maintain its

shape while the excess clay is trimmed away)

6) Trimming (the process of removing excess clay to finalize the shape of the pot)

7) Complete Drying (once the pot's shape is complete, it's allowed to dry completely)

8) Bisque firing (the dried pot is fired in a kiln until the clay is chemically converted into

a vitrified body, called bisqueware (like a flowerpot))

9) Glazing (glazes are applied to the exterior of the bisqueware to give it color and

texture)

10) Glaze Firing (the glazed bisqueware is fired again to a higher temperature to create

the final pot)