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Making Nicholas Mosse Pottery, a 20 Step Process


Clay comes from the ground and Nicholas Mosse mixes different sorts of clays to create their own, high quality earthenware. They dig, blunge, sieve, filter and pug the clay to form extruded logs of wet clay, which are then cut into the exact size and weight for each item. The thrower takes this lump and centers and forms it on an electric potter’s wheel.



Preparing Clay

Preparing Clay

 
Throwing

Throwing the lump

 
Throwing final stage

The jug emerges

WET CLAY OR GREENWARE

The little jug body is dried to a "leather hard" stage, and then a handle is attached to it with a glue-like substance called slip. Small imperfections are fettled and cleared away to make the pot ready for the next stage.



The glue-like slip

The glue-like slip

 
Fettling and cleaning

Fettling and cleaning

 
Applying Handle 2

Putting on the handle

 
Fettling

Tidying up again

SLIP DIPPING

When it reaches a very particular level of hardness, the little jug can be lowered into the liquid slip bucket. This type of slip is made from our same clay but with more water and less iron, to make it whiter. The slip is viscous and makes another pot cleaning necessary.



Slipping

Carefully lowered into slip

 
Slipping Shaking off excess

Shaking off excess

 
Cleaning

Cleaning again and evening off

BISQUE KILN FIRING

Once again the jug needs to harden even more, so it can withstand being stamped with the Nicholas Mosse logo. It then waits for its turn in the kiln and receives a first firing or ‘bisque’ firing, which removes all water from the clay and makes it hard and ready to decorate.



Stamping

Now dried, each piece is signed

 
Bisque Kiln

Loading the kiln

 
Kiln Lit

Firing Kiln Lit

 
Glazes

Getting colours ready to decorate

DECORATING

Nicholas Mosse Pottery has a large group of shapes, from mugs to plates to bowls, which are all hand decorated in one of 10 or so patterns. Each motif is applied by hand, one at a time, in different underglaze colours. The pots are then dipped into clear glaze and fired again.



   Individual border motifs carefully applied

Individual border motifs
carefully applied

 
Sponge Detail

First Old Rose 
stamp goes on

 
Decoration Complete

Final touches are
sponged on
 


Glazing

Glazing

 
Glazing 2

Glazing 2

 
Final Firing

Final Firing

nicholas mosse

Q & A About NICHOLAS MOSSE Pottery

Nicholas Mosse Pottery love their craft. They believe what is made with love and care emanates love and care. That is the essence of what Nicholas Mosse is about, that’s what they truly believe, and that is why this pottery means so much to people. Nick and his team, still to this day, make every single piece of pottery they produce by hand.



Are Nicholas Mosse Products All Made In Ireland?
Yes, all Nicholas Mosse earthenware pottery is completely Irish, from clay to water and they even use hydroelectrically generated energy to fire our kilns and keep our lights burning. Of their other products, the linen is Irish or UK made, and the candles are produced in France.

Are Nicholas Mosse Products Dishwasher, Microwave And Oven Safe?

Nicholas Mosse has two different types of clay in there product range, one for table service and one, much stronger stoneware clay, for our ovenware range. All of Nicholas Mosse tableware products are dishwasher and microwave safe. All ovenware products are dishwasher, microwave and oven safe. To keep your cherished Nicholas Mosse products safe in the dishwasher be  sure to stack them carefully to avoid any rattling of pieces during the wash cycle. While both the tableware and ovenware can be used in the microwave, constant usage will cause crazing and may even affect the longevity of the ware. Never place tableware or ovenware into a microwave or oven immediately after being taken from the fridge. Avoid extreme temperatures at all costs – Nicholas Mosse products should never be placed in the freezer.

What Is The Best Way To Take Care Of My Nicholas Mosse Pottery?

At Nicholas Mosse Pottery, they enjoy making pottery and are very specific that they produce only pottery of the finest quality. The pottery, used with care, should last and wear beautifully for years to come. To keep it as beautiful and pristine as possible, they recommend that you follow the following advice:
• Avoid rough handling and sudden changes in temperature as this may cause the appearance of fine lines on the surface known as crazing. Crazing does NOT affect the life or the usefulness of the pottery, and some people feel this adds to the character and appeal of the pottery. It is nothing to worry about.
• The pottery is dishwasher safe; please stack it carefully to avoid knocking.
• The pottery is microwave safe but continuous use should be avoided.
• Only use special Nicholas Mosse Ovenware in your oven, avoid direct heat and do not use on a hob or near a naked flame.
• Stubborn stains may be removed by soaking in a mild bleach solution.
• For  ovenware pottery (and also tabletop ware), avoid metal scourers or harsh abrasives.