The Story of a Mug: Part 1 left off where the mug is left to air dry.
Air drying takes about one week.
After air drying, the mug is “bone dry” which means very dry and brittle.
The mug is now referred to as “green ware” which means unfired pottery.
It is time to turn up the heat to rid the clay of water and to prepare the clay for glazes.
The unfired mug is loaded into the kiln for a bisque firing – the first firing of two – at a temperature of 1900 degrees F .
The point is to get rid of all water down to the very last molecule!
Glazing is the final step where color is added to each piece.
I must confess glazing is not my favorite part of pottery.
Believe it or not, glazing, in my opinion, takes more patience than molding a ball of clay.
Glazing is like watching paint dry.
After the glaze dries, the pottery pieces are placed into the kiln.
I use an electric kiln and fire to 2165 degrees F which is a cone 6 in pottery speak.
The glaze firing takes 10 to 12 hours.
When all is said and done, I am always amazed by the work done through chemistry and heat within the kiln!
Every potter anxiously awaits the opening of kiln after a glaze firing.
Many say it is as if it is Christmas Morning!
For all the creativity, planning, patience and hard work, opening the kiln after a glaze firing is Christmas Morning time and time again.
The story of a mug starts with a lump of clay and four weeks later the mug is ready for some coffee.