Each piece is a personal and special experience – I believe each piece has a soul and will often “speak” of whom they are to belong.
When pottery is placed into the kiln, it is almost always bone dry. However, there is still water trapped within the spaces between the clay particles.
The kiln reaches temperatures from 1000degrees up to 1080 degrees.
As the clay is slowly heated, this water evaporates out from the clay. If the clay is heated too quickly, and there is air still trapped in the pot the water will turn to steam right inside the clay body, expanding with explosive effect on the pot. The purpose most pottery goes through a bisque firing before it is glazed and then fired again to melt the glaze and fuse it to the clay body. Bisque firing pottery is important. This allows the potter to do much more decorative work with stains, underglazes and glazes with a greatly reduced risk of the pot being damaged. Because the bisque firing is brought to temperature much more slowly, bisquing also reduces the chances of pots cracking or exploding in other firings such as the Raku process.
As a kiln is firing up and cooling down, the changes in temperature make some profound changes in the clay. The clay goes from this soft, totally fragile substance to one which is rock-hard, impervious to water, wind, and time.
In my workshops the students experience the glazing process, this is called dry glazing, where we apply the glaze on the raw piece, its awareness of the steps taken in completing the finished pot.