'Ideas are easy to come by, they spring effortlessly out of the vacuity of the mind and cost nothing. When they are held and projected onto one’s self or others they become a project. When the project is enacted it becomes the work, and when the work is completed it appears to be self-existent. Creation is the process of form manifesting from emptiness, where that which arises from the mind comes into existence. Yet the distance between conception and realization may be enormous, as vast as the distance between stars.' ROBERT BEER

THE PROCESS Materials & making, together with the reduction firing, give ceramic work 'depth and vibration'. We strive for consistency but also embrace the qualities inherent in the handmade ceramic process. Colors, sizes and shapes may vary between pieces, and no two are exactly alike, so please take that into consideration when purchasing. 

Making: All the work is either built by hand, thrown on a wheel or a combination of the two. Images are painted by hand and fired onto the surface. Once fired, many pieces require extensive assembly. 

Clay Body: Work is made from a custom East Coast stoneware with plenty of grog and iron that fires bare in a reduction kiln to a deep toasty brown. A few components, such as the Featherbones, are made from unglazed English Porcelain.

Grog is clay that has been fired, ground up, and re-wedged into the clay. Adding it creates ‘tooth’ allowing the clay to stand up better during building and aids to reduce warping & cracking while drying and shrinking. Visually it enhances the ‘stone-like’ texture and feel.

When the work is completely dry (greenware), the clay molecules are set and rigid without the water in between them that make it 'plastic' and malleable- this is clay in its most fragile state. It is then covered with multiple layers of white clay that are suspended in water. 

Drying & Shrinkage: From wet to the final fired vitrified state, the clay shrinks about 10% as the water, both material and chemical, dissipate, and the clay molecules melt & fuse together.

To minimize warping & cracking during this movement, all of the parts, edges, & body of a piece, large & small, thick & thin, must dry evenly as they move while shrinking. To ensure even drying there is constant ‘babysitting’ (propping, flipping, covering etc). Large or flat pieces can take several weeks too dry to ensure the air gets to the all sides evenly or warping and cracking will occur. Many times these faults only present themselves after the work has been painted and gone through the final firing. 

Bisque Firing: The first kiln firing is to approximatley 1725 degrees. The bisque firing is a 3 day cycle from start to cool. The clay, is now semi-vitrified, sintered and welded together. Strong enough to handle but porous enough for glaze to adhere to the surface.

Glaze Firing: Once the work is painted and/or glazed it is loaded into the gas kiln and fired to 2325 degrees. Gas firings are a 4 day cycle- Load, fire, cool, unload. 

Assembly: Other components used are hemp rope, brass discs, cotton tassels & walnut or white oak wood. Rope ends are cut, whipped & assembled, wall hangings are knotted together with twine, knockers are assembled, cotton is dyed and torn, ceramic components combined. 

Packing & Shipping: We strive to be kind to the environment and use sustainable & recyclable materials at all times. Corrugated cardboard is used to wrap 90% of the work, with plastic bubble used minimally and only when absolutely necessary to ensure safe transit. Starch, water soluble, peanuts are used for all packing and shipping.