As I am still only an apprentice potter, I have yet to settle down and set up my very own studio. I am currently sharing a studio with Simon Levin in Pawnee, IL. We moved to Pawnee in October of 2017 and converted the detached garage building into a working studio space.
As with any potter, my process begins with my clay. I am currently using a domestic porcelain and an iron-rich porcelaineous stoneware. The porcelain that I use comes from a factory in a ready-to-use 25lb block. I recycle the waste from this porcelain and add varying amounts of iron-bearing clays to create a clay body with a darker color palette. I've chosen both of these clay bodies for their workability and their potential for beautiful color in the wood kiln. My future studio will have a nearby clay source that I will be able to harvest from and create with.
Most of my pots begin on the potter's wheel. Here I will take you through the process of making a cup.
After throwing several cups like this, I then have to wait a day or so for the clay to dry out to a stage called "leather-hard". At this stage I can safely handle the pots without distorting their shape or ruining their textures, and finish the foot in a process called "trimming", or "turning".
Finally, with the foot trimmed, I can go back in and decorate. I use a combination of tools including an xacto bade, to carve elegant designs into the surface of the cup.
Finally, the cup gets my signature stamp. A small "h".
What happens next? Read a little bit about the wood firing process here.
Huge thank you to Emily Kraus of Elouise Photography for the wonderful photos.