Joe Thompson - Old Forge Creations

All of Joe's work is wheel thrown stoneware. 

This means each piece is individually thrown on a pottery wheel. Joe aims to throw each piece identically, but they will all have slight variation as they pick up character throughout the making process. He uses a white stoneware as he finds it offers a great surface to show off the colours of the glazes, while being robust and easy to work with.

It gets dried slowly, trimmed, and once fully dry it gets very carefully loaded into an electric kiln and fired to 1050c. This changes the clay into ceramic, permanently setting the shape. Up until this point the piece could always be reformed into the raw clay by adding water, but the bisque firing is the first irreversible process. 

Next comes Joe's favourite part, glazing. He makes all of his own glazes. Some are from recipes created and shared by other potters, some are recipes he has created himself, but all of them are mixed up from raw ceramic ingredients. Joe always tries to create effects with them where there’s a fundamental change in the firing, whether that’s literally flowing down the piece (like Peacock Eye), or layered glazes bubbling up through each other (like Static). Those patterns are created by the glaze itself, so each one captures a unique moment in the kiln and can never be recreated exactly. The glazes are a glass that becomes liquid in the firing, so what you’re seeing is the movement that occurred at around 1200c becoming frozen forever as the kiln cools.