Tag Archives: working with the weather

The Slow Art Of Ceramics

This week I’ve haven’t been able to get much done because of the weather but I did manage to get some bisque firing done, the pieces that I made before my holidays. Snowdrop tiles, little ring dishes and hanging hearts, you can find them here in my last post. Just as well I got them made before I left as the snowdrops had gone over before I got home. I have just opened the kiln in this photo and they are hot, hot, hot.

Bisque fired ceramics
I love working with the seasons, however it’s not always “slow living” when you have to get something done before the flowering season ends.

You may not have given much thought to it but making ceramics is a slow process, there’s a lot of waiting, you have to wait until the clay is at the right stage of dryness to do what you want to do. After rolling I have to wait until the clay firms up a bit before rolling in the plants, then once you have made your pieces you have to wait to do the fettling, I like to do this at leather hard stage. Then you have to wait until the pieces are dry enough for bisque firing. These snowdrop pieces sat for almost 2 weeks before they were fired as it’s been so cold and damp, but slow drying is a good thing.
Once dry the ceramic leaves and fish are bisque fired, that’s another 24 hour ( or longer) wait before I can open the kiln.

Fish to hang on the wall

Seasonal (and weather) influenced work certainly teaches patience, I just hope my customers are understanding.

The bisque pieces now need to be glazed, the ceramic fish and leaf wall art have an application of raku glazes which have to be fired outside, this is where the looooong wait has come in. I can only raku fire when the weather is right, it needs to be dry and not very windy. We have to stand around all day putting pieces in and out of the kiln so it helps if it’s not too cold.

Ceramic leaves to hang on the wallSo that’s where I’m at, waiting and watching the weather, it’s not looking good for the coming week, I just hope my customers are understanding. These  pieces will be making their way into my Kiln Fired Art shop as soon as they are glazed and fired. Patience is definitely a virtue where the slow art of ceramics is concerned. Fingers crossed for better weather soon.