Making pottery is a process that involves six distinct steps that can not be completed in a single day. We refer to this process as the “the journey of a pot.” This journey is mapped out below.
Step 1: Forming the Pot
There are many ways to form a pot. At BHC we primarily teach two: throwing on the wheel and hand-building using coils and slabs of clay. In your first class you will learn to form a pot. It’s important to note that forming the pot is only the first step. Your pot is not finished until it goes through all six steps and that wont happen until your third or fourth class.
Step 2: Trimming & Refining Your Pot
Pots thrown on the wheel must be trimmed once they are leather hard. You will find your leather hard on your class shelf (Found behind the main throwing studio) wrapped in plastic with your cookie on top.
Pots that are hand-built are easiest to refine when they are leather hard. We don’t have any videos on this process, but you can certainly ask your teacher for help.
Please remember to put your initials on the bottom of your work. Be sure to use your pencil rather than carving your name into the clay.
Once your pot has been trimmed and/or refined, place it on the greenware shelves in the kiln yard. Our staff will load your pot into the bisque kiln once it is completely dry.
Step 4: Bisque Firing Your Pot
All pottery is fired two times. The first firing is knows as a bisque. In the bisque firing your pot will be transformed from an easily breakable piece of dry clay into a much less fragile, but still porous, object that is ready to be glazed. Our staff loads and unloads the bisque kiln weekly (often twice weekly!).
You can find your bisque-fired pots (known as bisqueware) on bisque shelves in the kiln yard. The pots are organized alphabetically by the first letter of the initials you have placed on the bottom of your pot. There is also a shelf for pots with a symbol on the bottom.
Step 5: Glazing Your Pot
Once your pot has been bisque-fired, it’s ready to glaze.
Step 6: Glaze Firing
Our staff will load and unload your pots from the glaze kiln. The kiln is generally fired on Tuesday. It takes a couple of days to cool and is usually unloaded on Thursday afternoons.