Saturday, August 13, 2011

Oven Fresh

Each morning we unload our glaze firings in the Bison studio. It's always a great moment as  I'm quite often not sure which pieces or colours have gone through. An early post illustrated racks of drying greenware (thrown, slipped or pressed pieces which air dry before their first firing). The glaze firing is the final step in the production phase. After the kiln has reached temperatures well in excess of 1200 degrees Celsius we allow it to cool gradually. This prevents dunting or cracking from damaging the pieces. It also allows the glaze to have that velvet-like finish we are known for. 

Sometimes we'll see a dinner set order go through in it's entirety. When that happens the colours can look really beautiful together in the kiln. People can spend a lot of time with their choice of colour for place settings. We then unload the kiln (a great job to do on a freezing Canberra morning!) and take the pieces inside the store for quality control and allocation. It seems a long process to get from wet clay to a finished item. We actually have to combine business acumen together with great design and scientific precision to make every piece in our collection. My team (and yes...myself!) all love the challenges this raises. After all, our Bison legacy will hopefully be similarly excavated in the millennia to come.

Photo: Brian Tunks

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