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How It's Made: Life Lessons & The Pottery Making Process

Like many things in life (well maybe everything), pottery can be very unpredictable. While it may seem a superficial analogy on the surface, the more you think about it, the more you realize this: you can never predict what will happen in life; we don't have a crystal ball, but it is exciting, a bit scary at times, and always an unpredictable journey to appreciate the lives we have and the joy that is created within us. Well, it's like that in pottery, too: it takes us on an exciting, sometimes scary journey, but we appreciate the beauty that is created and the joy it is to share it with you. We're here to take you along on this journey with us.


So let's walk you through the process of a piece! It's a labor intensive process to make each and every piece special, so we'll take you on a brief journey into our making process.


The body of a piece comes to life on the wheel by starting with a raw chunk of clay. The combination of the electric wheel and our trained hands spin the chunk of clay (literally a blob!) into a shape. If it's a mug, teapot, pitcher, stein, or jug, a handle gets added to this body. Depending on the weather, the addition of a handle can be a multi-day process due to dry times.


Once the piece is leather hard, the real personality of it comes to life with the addition of slip trailing (that super pretty decoration you see on most of our pottery). I would say this is one of our favorite steps in the process! Slip trailing really makes the pottery an art form, and gives it a whole new introduction into the world of art and into your home space. If you'd like to learn more about slip trailing, you can read about that here!


After the slip trailing decoration is added, each piece is glazed, then it's ready to fire in our wood kiln The wood kiln holds about 6 months worth of work, so it's a nerve wracking process because we don't know what pieces will survive (there's an estimated 10% loss rate). You can learn more about our thoughts on wood firing here.


You can view the process of a mug body being created on our YouTube page here. Hope you enjoy!


There's a lot more to cover, so stay tuned. We will go more in-depth about our making process so you can know how your piece was created to go from our hands to your homes.


Thank you for reading! Sarah


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all pictures copyright Sarah Wilkinson or Sarah Gillie Photography

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