It is sometimes hard to realise how long it takes to make a piece, so here's a little step-by-step to help you understand the process, patience and love that goes into it.
First step: sketching
Before going ahead with a new design, I always draw quick sketches, to define the look, the shape and the final dimensions I'm looking for. I also decide which stoneware clay would work best for this specific piece I have in mind.
The clay will shrink through the next steps, so that needs to be taken into account! And of course, every clay body has a different shrinkage ratio...
Second step: making
I wedge the clay to chase any air bubble, weigh it and start rolling my slabs or coils to create my pieces. I'm more into hand-building than throwing so I will slowly build them up on my working table.
Third step: bisque firing
Pottery is all about being patient! The piece needs to dry to reach first the "leather hard" stage, where I can finalise the last details, clean it up a little bit. Then I need to let it dry fully to its own rythm - not too fast to avoid cracks, usually a few days.
Once it is bone dry, the greenware piece goes trough the kiln for a first high-temperature firing at 980°C called bisque firing.
Fourth step: glazing
Now is finally time to pick the glaze and apply it to my work. This top layer will be fused to the ceramic piece through a final firing and give its final colour and aspect, making the piece food-safe and preventing porousness.
I play around with various techniques when it comes to glaze, according to the different textures I want to achieve: painted for an organic finish, poured for a sleeker, thicker colour...
Once the piece is glazed, I let it dry and the carefully clean it up
to finalise the look of it.
Fifth step: firing again
At last, the piece is ready to go in the kiln for a final firing at 1250°C.