Back Bay Pottery

Handmade for your Kitchen, Home & Garden

Pottery Studio Tour

Pottery StudioChristine SilbaughComment

My studio is in a constant state of transformation. Here are some photos of what may be going on at any given time...

Making pottery is a labor of love... There is lots of good hard work involved. Its not only about making and firing the pottery but other studio chores like cleaning, mixing glaze, reclaiming clay, resurfacing kiln shelves, loading and unloading the kilns, shipping & organizing. I know I forgot a few things...

Wall of storage... The orange buckets you can barely see are full of glazes. 

Wall of storage... The orange buckets you can barely see are full of glazes. 

Here is what is involved in the making of the pottery. 

1. CLAY BODY IS FORMED – A potter can form their product in many ways. Two main ways are wheel throwing or hand building. 

2. DECORATING – My three favorite ways of decorating are slip trailing, carving & stamping. There are many more ways to get designs into clay & I love to try them all. 

3. DRYING – Takes 7-10 days. The clay must be left to completely dry before going into the kiln. If there is moisture left in the clay it may explode in the kiln. The clay shrinks as it dries. 

4. SANDING – I sand the rough edges with sanding pads and green scrub pads. 

5. BISQUE FIRING- Takes about 24 hours. The ceramic pottery pieces are put in the kiln for the 1st firing. This is when the clay is turned into a stone. The kiln takes between 6-8 hours to reach about 1900 degrees. It takes about 12 hours to cool.

6. GLAZING – Glaze can be applied in many ways, poured on, sponged on, painted on, dipped, and sprayed.

7. FIRING- 24 hours. The pottery pieces go in the kiln for their last firing. This time the kiln temperature reaches about 2200 degrees. The glaze turns into a glass like coating and becomes one with the ceramic piece. 

Sometimes I fire my pottery a 3rd or 4th time to get a desired result. 

Here are my trusty pottery wheels... The one on the left is used for throwing and the one on the right is used for trimming.

Here are my trusty pottery wheels... The one on the left is used for throwing and the one on the right is used for trimming.

Rack of drying pottery... 

Rack of drying pottery...