on process

October 29, 2020

There are about 12 steps to making a ceramic plate, from rolling out the initial slab, to folding up the rims on each circular shape, to smoothing out lumps and bumps, to painting, to carving, to firing, to glazing, to firing again. From start to finish, with two firings in between, a plate usually takes me about two weeks to make. And that’s just a plate. Imagine a teapot! Each step has its own challenges, each step is satisfying in its own way. Timing is everything. Nothing can be rushed. I find the process of smoothing down a slab quite meditative. Painting and carving require intense concentration. Glazing can be such a chore. I’m such a sloppy glazer. It’s a shame when I’ve worked so hard on making something, only to botch it in the glazing phase. Or when I’ve worked so hard on a plate that cracks beyond repair or warps in the firing. It truly is a labour of love, (how much can one charge for a four inch ceramic dish?) so one has to enjoy the process, learn from it. “When you buy something from an artist, you’re buying more than an object. You’re buying hundreds of hours of errors and experimentation. You’re buying years of frustration and moments of pure joy. You’re not buying just one thing, you are buying a piece of a heart, a piece of a soul … a small piece of someone else’s life.”


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