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Unless you work in ceramics it's hard to appreciate the work that goes into creating a finished piece of pottery. Many people ask me what's involved so I thought it may be useful to show you the various stages and what I have to factor in when costing a finished piece.

Time is the number one biggest cost. From start to finish one of my bowls involves 8 stages and takes 7 days to make. SEVEN. This straight away limits how much I can make as my house would be covered in unfinished bowls! Here's how I spend those 7 days.

Stage 1: Making a Bowl
Stage 1: Making a Bowl

APPROX 20 MINS This is the fun bit and ironically takes the smallest amount of time. I vary my work between using a wheel and hand building.

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Stage 2: Drying
Stage 2: Drying

APPROX 24-48 hrs Before you even think about putting a piece in the kiln you need to leave it to dry (this can vary a great deal depending on the temperature of the room)

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Stage 3: The Bisque
Stage 3: The Bisque

APPROX: 10hrs The 1st of typically 2 cooking stages and involves putting a piece of pottery in a Kiln to completely dry out. This is done at 1000 degrees. At which point you should have a rock solid piece of pottery.

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Stage 4: The Glaze
Stage 4: The Glaze

APPROX: 10mins Essentially this the equivalent of painting something ready for the 2nd cooking (known as a "fire"). At this stage your bowl is looking far from finished and covered in what looks like a white paint.

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Stage 5: The Glass
Stage 5: The Glass

APPROX: 15mins If I am creating a "Bombay" piece of this is when i add finely broken pieces of glass at the base of a Bowl. This part is pretty fun because I get to use a hammer and smash up a load of Gin Bottles!

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Stage 6: The Firing
Stage 6: The Firing

You put your glazed painted bowl into the Kiln a 2nd time (only 1300 degrees time!) This is when the magic really starts to happen and your glaze reacts with the hot temperatures to form the shiny piece of ceramic.

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Stage 7: The Gold
Stage 7: The Gold

APPROX: 10mins For most potters you're done at this stage but due to my recent addiction with all things shiny I now have to paint on the gold glaze around the rims of my bowls..

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Stage 8: The Final Firing
Stage 8: The Final Firing

APPROX: 12hrs To bring out the true gold the bowl then needs to be put through a 3rd and final cook (firing) at 700 degrees.

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The Finished Piece!
The Finished Piece!

TOTAL DURATION MAKING A BOWL: 7 days

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