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.
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.
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.
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.
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.