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steps to make a mug

updated fri 10 oct 03


The Sherman's on thu 9 oct 03

I thought this was interesting when it was first posted so I saved a copy of
it. Amazing what my Clayart file is holding....

Marcey Sherman
Zephyr Pottery
Half way out Long Island where fall is definitely in the air!

Date: Sat, 4 Jan 2003 14:11:23 -0500
From: Maid O'Mud
Subject: Annual New Years Smile


Happy New Year Everyone!

I send this out every year on the 1st. (It's a bit late this year). =
I'm not sure, but I think this is my 5th sending. Feel free to adapt to =
your own studio environment, and put it up in a prominent place. =20


(so glad you asked!!)

1. Drive to Toronto and pick up the clay - 3 hour trip EACH
2. Unload load clay into basement studio.
3. Weigh out amount needed.
4. Wedge (knead) clay.
5. Centre clay on wheel and throw the mug shape.
6. Remove from wheel and let dry 24 - 48 hours; depending on
7. Put mug back on wheel and trim.
8. Hand create handle.
9. Let handle dry 1 to 5 hours; depending on humidity.
10. Attach handle to trimmed mug.
11. Cover handle in hot wax to slow drying on very dry days.
12. Let mug dry 1 week minimum. If mug cracks at this point,
re-cycle clay and start over at step 3.
13. Take mug upstairs to kiln in the garage and fire to 1850 F -
about 15 hours.
14. Take mug back downstairs to studio for glazing. If mug has
cracked during first firing, discard and write-off.
15. Mix glaze(s). Each glaze require approximately 3 hours to
mix and sieve.
16. Put hot wax on the bottom of mug so it does not stick to
kiln shelf.
17. Choose design and glaze mug.
18. Let mug dry thoroughly.
19. Bring mug back upstairs to kiln in the garage and load. If
glaze scratches or gets bumped on journey, wash with hot water
and start back at step 13.
20. Fire glazed mug to 2450 F. This takes 24 - 28 hours
depending on electricity demands. =20
21. Hold at 2450 F for approximately 25 minutes. Make sure all
shelves reach the exact same temperature.
22. Wait approximately 14 hours for kiln to cool to under 350F
before opening.
23. Remove and check mug. If cracked, start over at step 1. =20
24. If mug has miraculously survived to this point, clean sharp
bits off bottom with grinding stone by hand, and put out for
25. Last, but certainly not least instruction; try not to attack
the foolish person who innocently asks "Why does this mug cost so

AND, let us not forget all the hidden steps NOT numbered in here.

- Answer phone
- Sell pots
- Pay Ontario Hydro
- Develop new glazes and slips
- Come up with new pots and ideas
- Pay Ontario Hydro
- Put out signs on road
- Have MTO take signs off road
- Pay Ontario Hydro
- Re-cycle clay
- Pay Ontario Hydro

Thank you for your time and attention.

Sam - Maid O'Mud Pottery
Melbourne, Ontario CANADA
"First, the clay told me what to do.
Then, I told the clay what to do.
Now, we co-operate."
sam 1994