Monday, November 12, 2007

My brother asked a funny question today. "How long does it take you to make something?"

I tried to figure it out and had a hard time. Ceramics is an animal that's a bit different from other arts/crafts. There are so many steps and you can't do them all in the same day.

There's throwing or handbuilding the piece. Then there's "finishing" the piece -- making sure the joins are going to hold, that there are no sharp edges, that the bottom is trimmed or smoothed, etc. Time for bisque firing and cooling time. Selecting a glaze and glazing the piece is the next step and might take a minute or two or a few days, depending on the final result desired. Then there's the glaze firing.

I usually end it there, though there are people who do multiple glaze firings at different cone temperatures to achieve varying effects.

So, how long DOES it take for a piece? I figure a thrown mug, total time, takes a bit under an hour. A handbuilt piece? Maybe 5-10 hours.

Of course, there are complex ceramic artists on the internet whose pieces take weeks to complete. A good example can be found here:

A good question with no fixed answer!

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