Pottery and the Waiting Game

Cups by Mark Wilhelm

One of the best parts of shopping online is the moment after you order and you know that something you really want is on its way to you. I find this feeling to often be the best part about shopping because the products can be underwhelming. They are just things after all! It is very possible I have a shopping addiction… all the signs are there lol!

Much to my surprise, I have experienced the same type of anticipation and excitement when making pottery. All of the steps involved in reaching the final product require a small wait time.

First is the shaping process! Whether I use the wheel, do it by hand, or by mallet, it all requires time to dry. Mallet shaping is so satisfying, by the way, but more on that in a future post! After the piece is shaped, it goes into the kiln to be bisque fired so that it is ready for my favorite step.

It is time to glaze it! This is super exciting because glaze can be difficult to predict. It is a different color when you brush it on than it is when it comes out of the kiln so it’s difficult to know how the finished piece will turn out. I have discovered many different glaze “recipes” on the internet; X coats of this color covered by X coats of another color, etc. It feels as though each piece is like ordering a new piece of designer swag, but being unsure of the exact color it will be when it arrives.

Our very new YouTube channel still smells like the wrapper!

Often, using glaze to add specific details is a mistake because the glazes shift and melt during the firing process. It isn’t an exact art, but it is an extremely satisfying one. And the wait time from when you finish glazing a piece to when you see it come out of the kiln is delicious!

Adjusting to the many steps of pottery has taken time as I generally do all of my paintings in a single setting and in a single pass. But, as it turns out, I enjoy all the steps needed for pottery and will definitely continue making “dishes.” I will also keeping being a nerd to fulfill the “dragons” part of this website.

If you want to chat about art with yours truly you can find me on Twitter or Instagram!

-Mark Wilhelm

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