A journey through the art of ceramic
The creation of the shape is made
by using methods suitable for the item that will be produced.
- Lathe shaping enables creation
of any shape or size as long as it is round. v
- Other shapes (hexagons, ovals,
complex shapes, etc.) will require various traditional procedures
such as molding by hand or with plaster casts etc
The most commonly used raw material
is "red clay".
Tools used: Lathes, mother moulds, plaster casts, spatulas
and various small tools, spray and powder filter booths, etc.
Etching / engraving
engraving is a step which is
only used for special decorations that require etching on
the model when the clay is still soft. This process is inspired
by special designs and comprises etching or engraving the
object with a steel tip, all performed by hand. An example
of this type of manufacturing is "Byzantine" style
decoration, inspired by Byzantine era floor and wall finishes
Tools used: Steel tips for the totally handcrafted etching,
First firing "
After drying the object which
is produced at room temperature (whether it has been etched
or not), the object will then be placed in a chamber for its
first firing at just under 1832 degrees F. This will take
just under a day, the chamber then can be opened to remove
the fired piece, called "bisquit".
Apparatus used: Flame and electric kilns.
The "bisquit" item
is then dipped in a glaze that may be one of several colors
(usually it is white, cream or slightly ivory). Apparatus
used: Bowls, pliers, strainers, ladles.
Painting / Decoration
Usually the hand painting of
the pattern is then applied over the glaze, which was applied
in the previous stage. The colors used for decorating are
produced with ground minerals, which are then diluted with
water and applied to the object by hand using various types
of paint brushes, depending on the type of painting or detail
required on the surface. One of the problems encountered when
painting pottery is that the colors used for the final patterns
will change hue after the second firing, so the artist will
need to foresee the end effect of the application. All of
Higuera imports items are created by hand and there is always
ample capability for creating new decorations, even personalized
to customer request. Apparatus used: Paint brushes, pounce-bags,
This process is performed after
the object has been decorated and consists of its being sprayed
with a glass paste called "crystalline glaze". Apparatus
used: Spray gun, powder filter booth, lathes, tables.
firing is completed at about 1680 degrees F, this stage is
needed to bond the decoration to the object. During this firing
the previously applied crystalline glaze will melt and become
transparent. After this phase the item will acquire brilliance,
impermeability and the colors will change their initial appearance,
with their real beauty coming to the surface. A day must pass
before the firing chamber can be opened to admire the craft
object that has been produced.
Apparatus used: Flame and electric kilns
All of our Italian Ceramics are COMPLETELY SAFE for food use and have been approved for food contact by the food and drug administration on entry into the USA, this includes our Cups / Mugs / Pitchers / Tabletop items / Serving items and dinner sets. Any items which Higuera imports sells which are purely for decorative use are clearly marked as such to avoid any confusion.