A day in the pottery studio.
I think sometimes even my family still think I spend my days drinking coffee and making pretty things and that it's a lovely relaxing job! I love what I do but there's definitely things they don't tell you when you start training as a potter, like about allllll the cleaning and how heavy it all is between lifting boards of pots, moving bags of clay or putting big kiln shelves into the kiln!
This is just an insight into one day in the studio, the days really are so varied but there's always coffee and there's always lists, I do love a list!
The days starts with a strong coffee to get myself going and a check over my social media and emails. I then write my list for the day which is a good mix of jobs. After a walk with Sheva it's a 15 minute drive to the studio.
When I get to the studio its coffee 2 of the day, ok so maybe my family have a point about the coffee part! I like to choose the right cup, quirk of the potter. I like to use the small turquoise cup from the Toulouse Collection with the pod machine. I'll have a catch up with Liz, resident jeweller. Liz moved in to what was my office space last year and it has been really lovely to have another creative person working in the studio to bounce ideas off. Plus she has the beautiful Kaisen who comes in and Sheva tolerates, they'll be friends eventually.
Once Sheva has demanded and been given her treats I check all the pots made yesterday, cover the ones if that are getting too dry or flip them over to dry the bases.
Next I wrap up and box any orders that came in the previous day, I've been trying out a cardboard alternative to bubble wrap and it seems to be working really well. I also reuse bubble wrap or packing nuts and all of my boxes are recycled, I have family and friends keep sturdy boxes and a couple of other businesses in the building give me some too.
Next I unpack a kiln full of bisqued pots (first firing), all of this load is going to be for my website. Some of the pieces need the bases waxed, I used a liquid latex one that burns off in the kiln. It really helps with cleaning off the bases. I actually quite like this job, I find the repetition quite relaxing.
Lunch time and Liz and sit down together, we are both obsessed with food and often eat together or share lunches, we usually have these 2 staring at us! After lunch I check my list and cross off what I've done, I find it focusses me cause there's so many jobs that I could be doing and I get distracted.
After lunch I'll leave the parcels out to be collected by the courier and take Sheva for a short walk in the park next door. When I get back I'll make myself another coffee, 3 is usually my limit or I get a sense of impending doom. I check my social media an emails again though usually I reply throughout the day to anything that comes in.
Next up on the list is preparing clay to throw with tomorrow, for 10 years I have just weighed out each piece using a set of scales but I recently got some cutting harps made that cut the clay that comes out of the pug mill in certain weights and it has halved the clay prep time. Tomorrow I'm throwing cups, milk jugs, soup bowls and large fruit bowls
And now the cleaning! There really is so much cleaning in a pottery studio, it's so important to keep the dust levels down as over time it can cause lung damage if you breath it in over the years. I sponge down down all surfaces with plenty of water, open the windows, hoover and then mop. It's a big no no to sweep up dry clay.
Tomorrow I'll spend the morning throwing pots for the Toulouse Collection and the afternoon glazing the pots I waxed today, although it's a different set of jobs you know there will be lots of coffee and cleaning!