Thursday, May 30, 2013

How long did it take you to make that?

People sometimes ask me how long it takes for me to make a fish teapot.  It's a hard question for me to answer because the making is broken up over a few weeks.  My workflow starts with the throwing of two components, a ring and a faceted base.  I usually let the pieces sit under plastic for a few days and then trim the ring and clean up the base and join the two.  If I'm lucky I can work on construction in the same day.  Once the teapot is constructed, I have to let it sit under plastic for about a week, then I take the plastic off and the teapot sits air drying until she's about as dry as it can be.  Then she gets bisque fired.  This is the first firing and runs at around 1900 + degrees F.  This firing gets the moisture out, hardens the clay and prepares it for the glazing.  After the kiln has cooled I get to work glazing.  This can be a process that spans across a few days.  Sometimes I paint on layers of clear glaze and sometimes I paint on layers of white matte glaze as an undercoat.  Then the teapot is fired again at a lower temperature for the glaze firing.  In this firing the coats of glaze melt and yield either shiney or satin coats of color.  After the teapot has finished up with the firings, I get to work on the accessories, such as earrings, beaded wires that get glued into pre-drilled holes. 

I put together a two-part demo video of me making a teapot from start to finish.  I was able to share the video with my Westchase Artists Society friends and so that the video could be watched in one evening I edited it down to 30 minutes.  Thanks to fast-forward the video is 30 minutes.  If I were on fast-forward the process would take about 30 minutes, but I'm definitely not on fast-forward so the process takes longer.  One day I'll clock myselt to get the definitive answer to the question. 

Part 1
Part 2