The Joy of Our Lives June 24, 2012 23:14

So the garden and the great art project of the ShprixieLand home renovation have been temporarily put on hold while we race to make all of the pottery for you lovely people. We've committed to the Wednesday farmers' markets in Nelson and the Saturday markets in Invermere that run all summer. On top of that we're still pumping out mugs for our big Shambhala order. This is more pottery than we've ever produced and it's awesome! We start by spending a few days actually making our pots, plates and wee dishes from wet clay. Then it takes a few days to dry them (depending on the humidity of course which has been a challenge with all of the rain we've been having but wow what's that in the sky? The sun! Hooray!) After a 10- 11 hr bisque firing and waiting for another 12hrs for the kiln to cool we spend a day glazing. Then the glaze firing takes about another 10 - 11 hrs and there's another 12hr wait for it to cool. At last we spend another day putting our decals on and then another 24 hr period for the kiln to fire and cool. At this rate, with careful timing, we're able to fire a batch of pottery, from start to finish, every week. We're often asked how we get these designs on our pottery and it's really quite simple though a bit technical. First we draw pictures on paper and then we use a laser printer (one that has at least 45% red iron oxide in the toner) to print the images on to decal paper specifically meant for pottery. We then apply these decals to a glazed piece of pottery and fire them. The firing is hot enough to open up the glaze but not to completely melt it, allowing the red iron oxide to burn right into the glaze making it permanent. As part of the glaze it is now totally microwave and dishwasher safe, and as with all of our pottery, it is also completely non-toxic. It's tricky to resist the temptation to go play outside in the sunshine (like it is today) but loving what we do and being enthralled in a good audio book (like Steven King's The Stand that we're now presently listening to) helps to keep us on track. Somehow we still manage to find time to take the dogs for their walks and to even get our taxes done and make wine (we just bottled 63 bottles of cherry merlot and have started a batch of peach champagne). Of course it really helps to love what you're doing and we really hope this comes across in our finished pieces and can help brighten the lives of those who take them home. In fact we love doing what we do so much that for Pixie's birthday what she wanted was to have a few close friends over for dinner and then to spend the night (you guessed it) working in the studio! Our friend Lazlo DJ'd the get together and we taught our friends how to make their own wee and (as we like to call them) wee-ish dishes while we did a bit of experimenting ourselves and made some more delights for the up coming markets. Rain or shine it's always a sunny day here in ShprixieLand.