I love bisque ware.  I know many potters who hate clay at this stage, finding it anemic and lackluster.  I love how the fired clay takes on a new character and a new strength.  Yes, you can almost hear it exclaiming  “What Now????” but to me that is a challenge, not an affront.

I fired my eighth bisque firing (the first for 2010) Wednesday night and unloaded it yesterday.  For those non-potter readers, bisque firings take the clay (air dry but still containing some moisture) up to around 1900 °F.  By the end of this firing, there is no chemically bonded water left in the clay. Bisque is a true ceramic material, although the clay body has not yet reached maturity.  This happens in the next firing, which is a glaze firing (the bisque is coated with a glaze and fired again to a higher temperature).

You can fit more pots into a bisque firing than a glaze firing, as pieces can be places very close together (even touching).  As result, with each bisque firing I’ve been accumulating more pieces than I can glaze fire.  Finally, I have enough bisque for two back to back glaze firings.  As it is still high season here in Rincón, this is a very good thing.  I’ll miss having bisque ware kicking around in the kiln room.  No worries, more production going on in the studio…Bisque number 9 is just around the corner!

First Bisque Ware for 2010

Drying wheel and handbuilding work in the studio