Let’s talk about some mishaps we encounter… I’m ok with it as we are only human after all and let’s face it perfection is impossible to achieve (who wants that anyway!)
I will note firstly we do our utmost best to ensure our customer’s pieces are handled with the best possible care so thankfully these mishaps are few and far between but sometimes things go astray or “misbehave” in the kiln…
- So once you leave your pottery pieces with us we check them thoroughly and possibly wipe down the bases and remove any unnecessary splodges.
- It is then dipped in our clear glaze (twice to make sure there is an overlap and your piece is properly sealed).
- Then we wipe or scrape away possible drips.
- Tableware items like plates, bowls, mugs are carefully balanced on suitably sized stilts so that the bases do not touch the kiln shelf.
- We carefully move all the pieces in to the kiln and play one great big game of Tetris to get it all to fit.. some days we amaze ourselves on how we get a busy days’ painting in such a small space. (for the record that is the best and most fun part of the process!)
So here’s where it can go amiss…. once your piece is happily sitting in the kiln there is a small chance that the movement like shutting the kiln door can throw it off balance and dislodge the piece from its stilt. This means one is leaning against another piece whilst being fired.
The underglaze paint used and our clear dipping glaze effectively becomes a thin layer of glass when heated to a high temperature and when two items are joined together it’s like glue! Yep, like the kind of glue that sticks insanely well.
Once the kiln has fired overnight for 8 hrs and has reached temps in the area of 1050C it cannot be opened until at least another 24-48 hrs (depending on how full the kiln is)
Opening the kiln door is just like a mini Christmas feeling every… single… time… Seriously, we love seeing our customers work once fired, it’s just such a thrill to see the transformation!
So if there has been a bump against each other that’s when we hop into gear, assess the damage and fix your piece as best as possible. Both pieces are dremeled (grinding the excess and smoothed down) and no doubt one piece will probably fair better than the other in looks.
Then if possible, we will add more paint to the affected spots and send the pieces back into the kiln again to seal the flaw.
We contact the customer to let them know of this mishap but to be honest a heap of times we can fix items without it even showing. We have even had it that we couldn’t spot the mistake the second time around!
So without blowing our own horns too loudly, we are a few things…
- super passionate about our customers pieces
- pretty darn good at fixing issues that might arise
- super honest!
On the rare occasion if the piece completely breaks (either our fault or a hair line fracture that we could not see) then we would always provide the customer another piece to paint.
Biggest lesson to behold is that we are all human, mistakes happen in any job in any industry and nothing or no one is perfect.
We totally love our customers and their amazing work and I for one don’t think there’s a better business to be in!
Pieces after Fix Up