I'm currently using low fire white earthenware clay-body. When using low fire clay, the bisque temperature is usually hotter than the glaze firing temperature. For example, most commercial glazes recommend bisque firing to Cone 04, and glaze firing to Cone 06 (which is cooler).
Ready for the Kiln
I love to draw on clay. I use a needle tool or a pin tool to draw whimsical patterns and flowers. After the pieces have been bisque fired in my kiln (appropriately named Val Kilner), I sand everything. Top to bottom. This is my least favorite part of my process and looking to change it up in the near future.
Almost all of my work are hand-built forms using slabs or coils. I have a potters wheel, but merely use it as a tool to throw rims and feet on draped forms. I almost never "throw" on the wheel.
I use a variety of paper templates and ceramic drape molds to create my forms. I love puzzles and to me, using this method is like assembling mini puzzles.
Since being a clay artist isn't my full-time job, studio time is precious and sometimes limited to nights and weekends. Luckily, I have a very supportive spouse and family who encourage my passions and allow the flexibility required to make studio time happen!
One of my favorite things to do in the studio is get lost in a really great audio-book (if you have suggestions, please send!) and make sets of mugs. There is something very personal and intimate about making something I know will be used (hopefully on a daily basis) and possibly shared between a few people. I love coffee and tea, but the thing that makes those two things so great sometimes, is the people I'm sharing that time with. I love thinking about this kind of potential interaction when making mugs. The conversations that happen or maybe the personal moment for oneself. In a way, I get to be apart of that moment.
Collaborating with other artists in the studio is a new and exciting adventure I've been working on. I think it's so important to bring in new energy and work ideas into your space. The things that happen can be magical. I've learned so much from my fellow artists and friends, the push to continue forward never stops. Make sure you follow me on Facebook and Instagram to see who I've been collaborating with.