My Process

I start by imagining what kinds of things I want to make, and then I decide which method is best for making them. My usual way is to make a model of the piece, and then pour a mold so I can make multiples. Clay shrinks as it dries and when it fires. I have to keep that in mind while creating the original so I don’t end up with unexpectedly small work when I remove it from the kiln.

Some molds I pour slip (liquid clay) into, while others I press directly into sheets of prepared clay. Then I wait for the pieces to dry enough that I can remove them from their mold, clean up any imperfections, and add handles to cup, or carve extra details onto figures.

I prefer to add color directly to the clay, because I like working with clay more than painting on detail with glaze. There are some techniques that require colored clay, such as the images in my hexagonal dishes.

I usually do two firings – one to bake the clay enough so that it won’t fall apart when I dip it in the glaze, and one to complete the transformation of clay into vitrified ceramic. Pearl lustre finishes require an additional firing, which is my favorite, because it makes the pieces look magical.

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