STEP 1: MAKE
Here at Stone Studio, we focus on hand building pottery and wheel throwing. What’s the difference?
Hand building is a great place to start. All you need are your hands, a piece of clay, and a few simple tools. During our four-week Beginner Hand Building course, you’ll learn the three primary ways to hand build pottery: pinching, coiling and slab construction.
Although it takes some time to become skilled at throwing on the potter’s wheel, it’s a much more efficient method once mastered. Our four-week Beginner Wheel Throwing course is a great way to learn the fundamentals of throwing, including how to work the wheel and handle the clay while it’s spinning.
STEP 2: DRY
Once you have finished creating your piece, you’ll need to wait for it to completely dry out before it can be fired in the kiln. Depending on the temperature and the humidity at the time, this can often take up to a week.
This step is incredibly important. If your piece isn’t completely dry, it can explode in the kiln, damaging the elements, as well as other student’s work.
Once your piece is bone dry, it will be loaded into the kiln for the first of two firings.
STEP 3: BISQUE
The first firing is called the bisque firing, and it can take up to three whole days from start to finish.
During a bisque firing, your piece is basically semi-cooked.
At this point, you might be wondering what’s the point of a bisque firing? Well, it’s pretty simple, really. The primary reason we bisque pottery is because it makes the next step (glazing) much easier.
Once your piece has been bisqued, it isn’t nearly as fragile as it was before it was fired, which makes it much easier to handle while glazing. It will also no longer dissolve in water, which is important because you’ll often need to wipe off excess glaze with water and a sponge. Lastly, it’ll be quite porous in texture, which will help the glaze adhere to your piece when applied.
STEP 4: GLAZE
After your piece has been bisque fired, it’s ready to be glazed. You can think of glaze like liquid glass. Once it is fired it will become a glass-like surface.
During our Glazing 101 class, you’ll learn several different glazing techniques including dipping, pouring, brushing and sponging.
All of our in-house studio glazes are food safe and non-toxic.
STEP 5: FIRE
Once your piece has been glazed, it will be loaded into the kiln for the second of two firings.
Similar to the bisque firing, the glaze firing is also a three day affair. However, the glaze firing goes to a much higher temperature than the bisque. At Stone Studio, we fire to 1220°C, which is also known as Cone 6.
During the firing, your piece will vitrify, which is the process of turning ceramic into a stone-like non-porous state using heat. It will be incredibly durable, and will hopefully find a place in your home for many years to come.