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Thomas Birnie

POTTERY

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The Process

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The Potty Process of Making

Materials:

My earthenware pots are made from red clay and the slip used is made of ball clay. Glazes are comprised of Lead Bisilicate Frit and the clays previously mentioned. Oxides are added to provide colour to slips and glazes where necessary.

 

Dry, Bisque & Fire:

I allow the clay to dry over several days/ weeks enables excess water held between the clay particles to evaporate, causing shrinkage: leaving only the chemically combined water remaining.

 

A bisque firing to 900 °C drives off this water (between 350-650 °C) and begins to vitrify the clay irreversibly into a ceramic material, which is absorbent enough to accommodate a glaze application: a second firing to 1080 °C vitrifies the glaze and ensures the wares functionality.

 

All firings take place in an electric kiln.

 

Endings & Beginnings:

After the kiln has cooled to below 150 °C the door is opened and the pots are ready to be inspected. Those that make the grade are photographed and catalogued for display on the website before being set aside: waiting to be bought, boxed up and sent off into the world, to a new home.

 

If you would like more detailed information on the processes I employ or the raw materials I use then please email me.