Our Pottery Studio is on site and ready to be a source of inspiration and creativity for you.
We get a lot of questions about what to expect or what to bring for doing pottery at our retreats. We also offer afternoon or evening workshops for team building, bridal showers, birthdays or simply getting a group of friends together to get your hands dirty and create your own piece of pottery.
You will need to wear clothes and shoes you don’t mind getting dirty and plan to tie back any long hair. We have some aprons on hand for you to use and will provide the tools and clay for you to work with while you are here. If you have your own tools, you are of course welcome to bring them with you.
We have a couple of kilns, a couple of wheels, a slab roller and more for you to learn about while you are here.
I took pottery in University and taught at our local pottery studio for 10 years. I love the process of introducing pottery to people. Some enjoy it for a short time and some get hooked like I did years ago.
Pottery is a long beautiful process that take more than a day or a weekend to complete. After you complete your piece, it will need to dry and be fired a couple of times before your piece will be ready for pick up or shipping. This process can take up to a week or longer although if you can time it just right, you could tighten the time line up to 4 or 5 days.
When you attach pieces of clay together, like a handle to a mug for example, you have to let the mug dry slowly to allow the moisture in the clay to even out without cracking.
Once your piece is bone dry, it will be loaded in the kiln for its first firing called a bisque firing. This takes about 8 hours for the kiln to heat up to over 800 degrees Celsius. It takes another 4 to 8 hours, if not more, depending on the size of the kiln, to cool down before you can unload it to get ready for glazing.
Glazing is an amazing process and can be done many different ways. Here we dip our pieces in buckets of glaze before firing them one last time. You can overlap glazes for different effects and there are a tonne of different surface decoration methods to create virtually anything you can imagine. The chemistry behind glazing allows you create shiny, matte, crystallization, opaque, transparent…the options are endless.
The glaze firing takes over 10 hours and reaches a temperature of around 2100 degrees Celsius. We have fans that remove fumes and have to wait even longer for this load to cool down. It’s always like Christmas morning waiting for the kiln to cool down enough to open and see how everything turned out. Your pieces go in one colour and come out looking completely different!
When you come you will make your piece and we will finish it for you by completing the firings and glazing before packaging it up to deliver to you.
The pottery you make at White Trees is dishwasher and oven safe and will give you years of enjoyment. It’s good for your soul! Come get your hands dirty with us. We can't wait to see what you create.