Step 1: Mixing Clay
- The Clay used for this purpose is in powder form. This powder is then moistened using water, and this is done in a massive tank by means of a paddle called a blunger. A number of spindles mix and remix the clay to ensure the water is evenly distributed.
- This is followed by the pressing of the slurry to filter excess water and create a thick and somewhat dry paste called cake.
- Then the cake is put into a plug mill wherein the clay is finely chopped. This is done to de-air the clay after which it is shaped into cylinders and is ready to be molded.
Step 2: Jiggering
- The clay cylinders previously shaped are sent to the jiggering machine to make a vase. Wet clay cylinders are dropped onto the jiggering machine using a suction arm that positions the clay within a plaster mold.
- A metal arm is then used to force the wet clay cylinder against the interior wall of the plaster mold to form a new vessel. The plaster mold with damp clay inside is then set in the dryer to heat up the clay enabling easy removal from the mold.
Step 3: Slip casting
- Delicate and extremely intricate pottery is formed using slip casting. The slur is transferred into a two-part plaster mold, and the excess is discarded. Once stiff and dry the plaster mold is opened, and the rough edges are eliminated.
Step 4: Glazing
- The pieces once dry need to be covered by one color of glaze by running it under a waterfall of glaze that ensures complete coating of each piece. Deep hollowware like vases requires flushing to be done by hand to provide full coverage.
- The glaze is generally applied to a thickness of 0.015-0.017 cm.
Step 5: Firing
- Firing is done to convert the glaze into a glass-like coating. The more modern furnaces run at extremely high temperatures in comparison to the older ones because of which they require a shorter firing duration.
- The temperature is around 2,300° F. The single-color production of pottery requires one firing only with the glazes and new kilns.
- Many glazes need the greenware to be fired once and turned into a bisque or a dull white, hard body, then re-glazed and fired. However, it is important to note that this procedure is not always needed and is not compulsory especially concerning the new production glazes.
- The unglazed bottom of the pottery is sent to be polished by a machine with a cleaning pad. The piece is then stationed in a bin and sent to be packaged. The package is then finally ready to be shipped out for sale in the markets.