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Example Bisque Piece Example Bisque Piece Example Bisque Piece Example Bisque Piece Example Bisque Piece

How It Works... After You Order

"Cleaning Greenware to Fired Bisque"

These are the tools I use to clean greenware.
  Tools used to clean greenware  
When your greenware pieces are dry, but still very fragile, the cleaning process starts.

Using the scraping tool to clean the bottom of the piece

Using a sponge to clean the bottom of the piece
I first start with smoothing out the bottom of the piece. I cut away excess dried clay and any roughness with a "Scraping Tool". I then use a damp sponge to smooth out the edges.

There are raised ridges where the seams of the mold come together. With the "Scraping Tool" these seams are removed and smoothed out with a damp sponge or scrubby pad. The piece is then checked for imperfections and smoothed out or detail put back in, depending on which is needed. Removing the seams on the piece

Cleaning an attachment seam Remember the attachments? They also have ridges of dried unwanted excess slip that has to be removed. They are removed with the cleaning tool and then smoothed out with a sponge or soft wet brush.
If a piece is accidently broken in this stage, which doesn't happen often, the whole piece is discarded and made over again from scratch. You can repair Greenware, but it leaves the piece weak in that spot and may break or crack when in the final stages of being fired. We do not want THAT to happen!

Cleaning is one of the most important parts of a good bisque piece! If the ridges and detail are not paid attention to and cleaned right, no matter how wonderful it is painted, the piece will look bad. I take special care in cleaning and making sure each piece would be something that I would be proud to own myself. My customers know that when they recieve a cleaned bisque piece from our shop, each one has been checked and rechecked for perfection. This process takes the most time, but when my customers unpack their pieces, they are amazed at the high quality of workmanship!

After the cleaning process, the pieces are ready to be fired in the kiln! Each greenware piece is placed carefully in the kiln with enough space around them for even firing. A "Firing Cone" is put in the kiln and is used to reach the desired tempeture. When the temperture reaches over 1200 degrees, the cone will bend and shut the kiln off automatically.

The kiln has to be vented for the first hour of firing. Then the next stage is for the lid to be closed and fired on low tempeture for another hour. The third stage is medium heat for the next hour. Then the kiln is turned on high and when it reaches the desired fired cone of 04 it bends and shuts itself off.

The whole process of firing takes about 6 hours, but the kiln can not be opened for another 12 hours after it has been turned off. The cooling time for the kiln is very important! If the kiln is opened too soon, the pieces will still be very hot and they may crack from cold air hitting them. They MUST be fired slowly and COOLED slowly! I normally fire up the kiln in the evening and leaving it to cool all night long. I then can remove the pieces in the late morning the next day.

We have three kilns in different sizes. Sometimes all three are running at the same time!

A small kiln A large kiln Pieces inside a kiln, waiting to be fired

Please email us if you have any questions or concerns, we would love to hear from you!