HOW IT'S MADE
Stoneware is considered to be one of the most durable types of pottery. It’s fired to higher temperatures, resulting in a stone-like finish. The finished product is waterproof, nonporous and doesn’t require glaze. Stoneware is microwave and dishwasher safe.
The process of creating stoneware pottery can take several weeks. It starts with wet clay, and once my pottery pieces are created they need to slowly dry for several days until leather-hard. I can then add and take away clay to create my designs, which appear more three-dimensional.
From that point the piece will dry for several more days until bone-dry, at which point it’s considered greenware. It is then placed into the kiln for its first firing, called a bisque firing, which fires at lower temperatures generally around 1,900° for approximately 24 hours.
After the first low-firing the pottery is considered bisqueware, and once it has cooled down in the kiln it can be glazed. Although the glaze is applied on top of the pottery, during the second firing it becomes part of the pottery itself – it’s not paint.
Once all pieces are glazed they are strategically placed into the kiln for their second firing, generally to about 2,200° for approximately 18 hours. The pieces cannot be touching during high-fire, as the glaze undergoes a chemical reaction and changes its composition, essentially turning into molten glass that can stick to other pieces.
Once the kiln has shut off and the pottery has cooled for about 12-15 hours it can be unloaded from the kiln. The exposed stoneware clay bottoms are lightly sanded to smooth out any rougher surfaces and voila, we have handmade, functional stoneware pottery.