Throwing a pot on a potters wheel...
After preparing the clay by whacking it enough to make the house shake the clay is placed in the center of the wheel- and that's where the fun begins!
Throwing a pot is fascinating to watch and seemingly effortless, but anyone who has had a go will know that it is much, much harder than it looks!
Pots waiting to dry...
Pottery takes time.
In order to be fired a pot needs to be bone dry - otherwise you would create perfect explosions with the water in the pots turning to steam!
Especially in our lovely Scottish island weather it can take weeks for a pot to thoroughly dry.
The bigger and thicker the pot the longer it takes.
After the first firing
My first firing - the "bisque" firing exposes the pots to a temperature of 930°C.
It's purpose, to put it simple, is to turn mud into stone.
After this firing you can't dissolve the pot in water any more. From now on it is a different material!
At this stage the claybody is sturdy enough to handle and glaze but still has enough porosity to soak up any glaze you put on it.
Decorating and firing- again!
I can now glaze and paint the pots and get them ready for their last stage before being born a finished pot to enrich our lives.
I can't rush this phase: I have thousands of little dots to colour in, stripes to paint, lines to fill and
finally covering it all with a glaze resistant wax so the colours keep their vibrant hue.
I also make all my glazes here in my workshop, which is a whole story in itself...
At long last I stack all the glazed pots neatly on the kiln shelves- they must not touch each other!
The firing goes up to 1240°C and takes 12 hours.
I can open the kiln two days later.