Welcome to my Home Studio

Welcome to my Home Studio
Hard at work, click photo to go to website

Sunday, September 7, 2008

What Goes Into Making a Mug

Sometimes people will say, can you give me a discount on that mug?

Here is my answer:

1) Drive to C & F Wholesale Ceramics and pick up the clay - 3 hour trip round trip.
2 Unload clay into garage.
3 Weigh out amount needed for the mug.
4 Wedge (knead) clay.
5 Center clay on wheel and throw the mug shape.
6 Remove from wheel and let dry 24 - 48 hours; depending on humidity.
7 Put mug back on wheel and trim.
8 Hand create handle.
9 Let handle dry 1 to 5 hours; depending on humidity.
10 Attach handle to trimmed mug.
11 Cover handle in hot wax to slow drying on very dry days.
12 Let mug dry 1 week minimum. If mug cracks at this point, re-cycle clay and start over at step 3.
13 Place mug in kiln and fire to 1850 F - about 18-20 hours.
14 Unload mug from the kiln. If mug has cracked during first firing, discard, write-off and start over at step 1.
15 Mix glaze(s). Each glaze requires approximately 3 hours to mix and sieve.
16 Put hot wax on the bottom of mug so it will not stick to kiln shelf.
17 Choose design and glaze mug. This can take anywhere from several minutes to upwards of an hour, depending on the design.
18 Let mug dry thoroughly.
19 Load glazed mug back into kiln. If glaze scratches or gets bumped, wash with hot water and start back at step 13.
20 Fire glazed mug to 2250 F. This takes 14-16 hours depending on electricity demands.
21 Hold at 2250 F for approximately 20 minutes. Make sure all shelves reach the exact same temperature.
22 Wait approximately 14 hours for kiln to cool to under 350F before opening.
23 Remove and check mug. If cracked, discard, write-off and start over at step 1.
24 If mug has miraculously survived to this point, clean sharp bits off bottom with grinding stone by hand, and put out for sale.
25 Last, but certainly not least instruction; try not to attack the foolish person who innocently asks "Why does this mug cost so much?"
AND, let us not forget all the hidden steps NOT numbered in here.
* Answer phone
* Sell pots
* Pay FPL (electric)
* Develop new glazes and slips
* Create new designs
* Pay FPL
* Re-cycle clay
* Clean studio, tools and wheel
* Pay FPL
* Not to mention the time, effort, gas and other expenses involved in getting into a show in the first place, and then traveling to it, setting up, selling all day, braking down, driving home, unpacking... I guess that's a list all by itself...
Thank you for your time and attention. - Patspottery


Todd said...

I need this for my booth! Everyone wants a bargain! I do too but I appreciate what goes into any artists work no matter what their medium. This is great, Pat! You need to raise your prices for taking the time to make this list!
Todd in Santa Fe

Charan Sachar said...

So True!
I need a Tshirt that says that. Whenever a customer get s sticker shock... I should make them read this 10 times.. :)

Graciela Testa Lynt said...

That's so right Pat! There other comments that sends me around the bend is "How long did it take you to do that?" Hmmmm... 15 years... that's how long I've been doing this and everything I do builds on what I learned earlier...

brookhouse pottery said...

Pat, you said it all. I could use that in my studio for visitors-I love the people who have taken a class too!
Thanks for getting the word out.

Jade said...

this is brilliantly written! I love it! Do you mind if I print it out and post it in my studio? (I'm not a full potter yet, just a hopeful, but this is an awesome list to keep for the future!) I want to share this with all my ceramic friends, you nailed it! Thank you! :)

Mark,Suzanne Vainner said...

Amen sister!! :)
You should have it printed on T-shirts :)
Great blog!