What follows is a sample of how my process in making ware typically goes.
Almost everything starts somewhere in my sketchbook. For this mug I wanted to do a sassy-looking unicorn stein for lady beer drinkers.
If I’m making a one-off item, I might throw two similar shapes in the event one breaks or becomes damaged during the process. Nothing is guaranteed in the world of clay!
After throwing, I will add handles, decorations and clean up the clay a little, make sure the bottom is even, and trim if necessary. The ware then dries for a few days, depending on humidity and temperature.
|Bisque and Graphics
While the ware dries and gets its bisque firing in the kiln, I work on the graphics I want to silkscreen on the side of the mug. In this case, I’m using an old Mac program called “CricketPaint” on an emulator to create my black and white pixel drawings.
|Screen Developing and Testing
After drawing on the computer, I photo-develop a silkscreen to use on the pot. I do a few test prints with acrylic paint to ensure the screen looks exactly the way I like, noting any problematic areas.
The ware has been bisqued, so now it’s time to paint! I do my airbrushing outside with a respirator as airborne glazes can be extremely hazardous. After the airbrushing is done, I will silkscreen on the unicorn image, then the mug will go through its glaze firing.
|Gold and Photos
Post glaze firing, the mug receives a gold-lustre handle which must go through one last firing. When that is complete, the mug is ready for photos and to be sold!