Clay, water, fire: the production of ceramic objects is one of the oldest crafts of man. The molding process is divided into three main stages. After the preparation of ingredients, the next stage is the molding of the object, followed by the drying and firing, glazing, painting by hand and the second firing. Below are the methods used in our craftshop.
The potter’s wheel is used to create round and symmetrical objects. The starting point is to have the proper mixture of clay, which is then extruded, forming a long piece which is then cut into small parts that, once dried are put o the wheel and spun. Through the rotation of the wheel and the manual pressure of the artisan, the piece takes shape, which can reach very huge dimensions.
Except for some advanced ceramics, all ceramic products must be cooked or fired before use. The conditions and the temperature required depends on the material. Some objects need more firings: the first firing is for cooking the terracotta, the second for vitrification of the enamel or varnish, and the third for the use of metal luster, like gold, silver and platinum that need smooth surfaces for the finished effect.
The glaze is applied on the piece after the first cooking, its vitrification is the result of the second cooking. Painted decoration must be realized on the still raw and dried glaze.
After glazing, the object can be decorated with painting: the colour is applied by brush, sponge, swab or airbrush. The technique of graffito consists in etching the decoration with a sharp instrument on the glazed clay, causing the natural color to emerge. After the painting is applied, the object is fired for the vitrification.