The Materials ~ The Process ~ Workmanship

How is our pottery made?

April Adams throwing a pot
April Adams

We hand-throw or slab-build our pottery. After a piece is trimmed and dried, it is bisque-fired to make it hard enough to handle easily. The bottoms and lids are waxed to repel glaze that would otherwise weld it to the kiln shelf or its lid.

Next,it is dipped into a vat of glaze while being held with the fingers or glaze tongs and allowed to dry. We mix our own glaze recipe that is 100% lead free.

Although we strive for pleasing functional forms, we regard the decorating to be what truly distinguishes our work. Most of our time goes into the painting.  The colors are applied over the fresh glaze using watercolor brushes and occasionally a sponge. The stripes are done while the piece is rotating on a wheel. Care must be taken not to smudge or nick the soft glaze during handling. Then the piece is fired for the second time to approximately 1856 degrees F.

The colors melt and bleed into the molten glaze, producing the soft, translucent textural quality of the design.

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What materials do we use?

Our latest work is done in (white) earthenware. Earthenware, the most common clay found in the world, fires to off-white, buff, brown or red, depending on mineral content. We love the wide range of colors possible at its low firing temperatures. Many colors burn out at stoneware and porcelain temperatures which are higher.

We recommend handwashing your pottery.

Do not overheat in your microwave. We use our pottery in the microwave daily but we are careful as the clay heats up more than other ceramics.

Avoid thermal shock such as placing a refrigerated dish into a preheated oven, And of course, never put it on top of the stove as you would a tea kettle or frying pan.

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Is each piece an original?

April Adams painting
April Adams

Yes. All of our work is "imperfect" and will show evidence of the maker's hands and methods! ;This includes drips, variations in glaze thickness, glaze tong marks, white spots in the darker colors, an occasional pinhole, and differences in size, color and tone. Truly no two pieces are identical. Pots also vary from firing to firing. Sets and pairs will resemble each other, but each is an individual.

We ship only our best work but sometimes a defect may escape our attention. Please let us exchange a piece that you are not happy with. We want you to enjoy our pottery in your daily life!

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Columbia Falls Pottery

4 Main St. US Rt. 1
Machias ME, 04654

Visit our Contact Page for Hours and Directions