After having worked several decades in the health care industry and using my creativity to solve problems, I wanted to learn how to channel that creativity into something both tangible and fun. While ceramics was not a logical choice for me because it is both messy and requires a lot of patience, I nevertheless had so enjoyed a pottery class I had taken years ago, that I decided to take a chance. There are several steps involved in the process I call "playing in the mud." After I come up with an idea of something I'd like to make, I shape the clay; it may be wheel thrown or hand built. Once it is dry I place it in a special oven called a kiln and "bisque fire" the creation until it reaches a temperature of 1950 degrees F (cone 04), which makes it hard, but porous, and ready for glazing. After that I apply a wet glaze, allow it to dry, and fire it again to 2230 degrees F (cone 6), which will melt the glaze and fuse it to the clay body. Opening a kiln after a glaze fire is like opening gifts on Christmas day, because the finished product is not always what I expect!
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