How We Work - Pottery
The Art of Making a Pot
Our pots are thrown or molded by hand from a clay formula personally developed by Miranda Thomas. Pots are decorated by hand, either by painting or carving. A carved pot is first dipped into a slurry of clay called a slip. The potter waits until the surface is firm but still damp. Then, using an African porcupine quill and slender pieces of bamboo, the potter carves freehand a rabbit, a tree of life, or whatever design is called for. Each carving is unique. The pots are then fired twice. In between the firing, each pot is glazed so that resulting piece is one of five distinct design and color combinations. All glazes are handmade. The process for all pots, no matter the shape, from largest to smallest, is about a week. Each piece starts as clay, water soluble and soft, and ends as stone, ready to be used in the home, either as a decorative piece or as oven-proof, microwave safe serving dish.
Throwing a Mug
Each mug begins as a 3/4 pound ball of clay, handthrown to its signature shape with a delicate lip. Each handle is pulled from soft clay, above the potter’s head, inch by inch, and is attached to the mug body when it is leather hard.
Carved pieces begin with stoneware that is molded or thrown and then dipped in a layer of slip. The decoration is drawn free-hand through the slip when the pot is leather hard. The negative spaces of slip are then carved away.
Making a Decorative Platter
Our platters range from 8 to 18 inches in diameter, approximately, with the largest thrown from 20 pounds of clay. After throwing, each platter has the foot trimmed from the back, and holes are added for hanging.
Each oval dish starts with a slab of clay rolled out, shaped over a handmade mold. The potter crimps the rim with an African porcupine quill that gives a beautiful edge.