How They are Made
Here's the process for turning a lump of clay
into a treasured keepsake
Creating your custom piece is quite a process on my end. I throw your jar/vessel on the wheel or create a slab constructed piece and then begin work on the sculpture(s). If I'm working on a sculpture of your pet, I make every effort to try to get the best likeness possible. This can take a while. I like to go back, review and tweak my work several times before I consider it done. I know how special these pieces are to my clients and I want them to be my best - always.
When the piece is still wet - in a stage that I can still make changes, I send you a few pictures by email for your input. If there are changes to be made in the claywork, this is the only time I can make them. (In this stage the pictures will only show the clay work, so the pictures will have no color detail and may look a bit distorted due to light and angles, but will provide a good sense how the sculpture will look).
Once you're good with the work so far, I will let it dry (takes 3 days to a week) and when totally dry it is fired for the first time- bisque fired.
Once bisque fired, I then apply the underglaze to 'paint' your sculpture /other elements and add color decoration to the vessel. Then, I prepare it for glazing, using wax resist and other methods.
Finally, I glaze your piece by applying liquid glaze to the entire piece (this provides the glass like finish after firing)- it goes into the kiln for its final firing at a high temperature for stoneware glazes and a few days later...... its 'almost' done. I then make small changes using various types of ceramic paint or other materials like metallic gold paint, adding the light in the eyes with dots of white paint etc.....and its ready to ship!!
I let you know that its done and if you want, send you pictures..... if not....it can be a surprise. I pack it really well and ship it, usually via Fed Ex Ground (least expensive) and send you a confirming email, that its been shipped along with the invoice showing the cost of the piece and the actual shipping costs. You receive your shipment and that is when payment is generally due. (For some special orders, partial payment may be needed up front.)
Then you have a very special custom made creation - a loving tribute to your beloved pet