I have been meaning to introduce you to the great world of ceramics for a while.

I guess one of the reasons why ceramic is so thrilling is that you are constantly learning while making it. Working like a machine, doing the same thing over and over just like too many of us have to in order to pay bills, can become a bit strenuous. Learning new skills, situations and prospects is as vital as many other things in life. School wasn’t so bad after all. But sometimes we forget, overwhelmed by this hasty life of ours.

But let’s talk about ceramic.

It all starts with this soft and dump material that is clay. It is doughy and cold, it dances with the shapes of your hands or whatever tool you’re using to deal with it.

It is a cunning material; clay has memory and it just never forgets each and every movement, every time you bent it and rolled it and twisted it.

It can take very little to way too long to dry and you better let it dry at the right pace according to the characteristics of the piece. You don't want to open the door of your studio, one sunny morning, and find a shattered work-in-progress.

Once it’s totally dry you can fire it for the first time: bisque firing.

You essentially toast the clay so that it will turn into ceramic, solid and easier to handle during the glazing step. It is an irreversible stage; the shape of the piece is permanent after the bisque firing, unless you smash it.

Glazing is messy and it requires many careful considerations in order to avoid any major incidents, which you surely don’t want after all the sweat and tears you’ve put into your work. You apply the glaze, which at this point is liquid, onto the bisqueware which will absorb the glaze in an instant.

And then is time to fire again.

During a glaze firing we reach higher temperatures and this enables the glazes to melt and therefore vitrify, giving birth to all those fantastic colours and textures you see on the final pieces.

And it’s a wrap!

So, here’s a recap:

-create the piece (hand built or on the wheel)

-let it dry a bit

-trim it (or refine it once it’s not so mushy anymore)

-let it dry completely

-bisque firing


-glaze firing

You see how many steps are needed to get to the final result.

And these are just the basic steps. We should open many more brackets to explain each passage in full, but even some people who have been working with clay for many decades are still revising and updating those brackets.

It is a forever work in progress and dealing with all these procedures demands patience. A lot of it. It is impossibile to get through the process if in a rush. Attention is key; attention as mindfulness, observance.

That’s it: observance, thoughtfulness.


Just like in life.

That’s also why ceramic have a place in the gargantuan realm of the arts. It requires a certain sensitivity, an awareness.

It is not just about making mugs and pretty things.

Creativity and sensitivity travel hand in hand.

Thanks for reading ✨

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