The Process: From My Studio To Your Table- the Making of Your Pot
The Clay: In days of yore in Japan, the traditional potter would mix clay from the earth and bury it in the ground for a whole generation for his grandchild to use when he became a potter. Here on Miami Beach, I go online and order a few hundred pounds of premixed clay and UPS delivers it in two days.
Making your pot: I prepare the clay by kneading it like I was making bread. I form it into a ball and then I throw that ball of clay onto the wheel head (hence the name “throwing clay”). While the wheel is spinning, the clay is centered (I push on it real hard until it looks like it is not moving from side to side), I make a hole in the center of the clay with my finger, put some more fingers in and make the hole bigger. This is called "Opening." Then, I push the fingers of my left hand, which are on the inside of the opening, against the fingers of my right hand which are on the outside of the clay. By pushing my fingers toward one another with a wall of clay in the middle separating them, the clay has nowhere to go but up. And so it does. This is called "Pulling." It now resembles something more like a pot. I shape the outside of the pot by pushing the pot from the outside, inside and top. Then I let it dry enough to turn over and I trim off all the clay on the bottom that would not be there if I was a better potter.
1st Firing(Bisque): When the pot is all dry but still brittle, I put it in an electric kiln (a big oven that eats electricity like a football player eats chicken tenders at Golden Corral). I put in all the other pots and turn on the computer controls and the kiln cranks up to 1,950 degrees Fahrenheit overnight. Then I let it cool down for a day. When it comes out it, is hard and about 15% smaller. The pot is ready to be glazed.
Glazing: Now the pot is ready for a nice shiny glaze. The glaze is like a really complicated cake recipe, except that the flour, sugar and eggs are replaced with silica, oxide colorants and some other dangerous stuff you haven't heard of since high school chemistry class. I mix my unique glaze myself based on recipes copied from great potters I have met or casually read about. The pot gets dipped in one or two different glazes and is then ready to be fired again.
2nd Firing (Glaze): Now the pot is put in the kiln again and overnight, the temperature slowly goes up to 2,200 degrees Fahrenheit. Inside the kiln, the pots are yellow-hot and those chemicals in the glaze interact with the clay. They fuse together into a glass-like shield that protects the pot, making it non-porous and food safe (even from that chili you thought could eat through anything). The glaze is supposed to make your pot look good too.
Finding a Home: After this ever so interesting, incomprehensible and time consuming process is completed, I bring you this nice little pot to enjoy. So enjoy!