The processing steps of the ceramics

THE TORNIANTE. Ceramics starts with a simple piece of clay brought to life by a master craftsman, “The Torniante“. Masterfully shaped by hand on a potter’s wheel, the clay turns into a dish, in an umbrella stand, a jar, a pot holders, etc … The lump of clay molded it says “on Earth.“

L’ATTACCHINO By hand or with a plaster cast, the “Attacchino” models: handles, spouts and any other type of application. These will be attached to the object turned, but only when this will have lost part of its moisture, and will therefore, easily maneuverable. Now, attacked, the piece needs to further drying in order to proceed to the next step.

INGOBBIO (BIANCHETTATURA) The workpiece is immersed in a kind of mixture of liquid white ground. This process makes it possible to cover the natural red color of terra cotta and the piece will be better decorated. Now, the object is put in the open air for natural drying. When it is dry it assumes a white / greyish color and then it is ready for the first firing in the kiln. In this process the piece loses 10% of its initial measures.

THE FIRST COOKING The dried piece is placed in the oven to obtain the First firing. The ground object that comes out from the oven after being subjected to a baking at 980° is called cookie, and has a white color or the typical red if it has not undergone the dell’ingobbiatura process.

THE ENAMELLING Once cooled, the biscuit is dipped in the “enamel”, a chalky liquid that dry easily. This step, which is easily described is an important part of the whole process, because in the next firing will merge with the enamel colors, determining color tones, enamel structure, part quality. The chemical composition of “enamel” is complex and each company has its own formula which takes secret! The cookie, now entirely covered by a powder enamel, is ready to be painted.

PAINTING The painter can paint freehand or use the entire piece, a kind of stencil called Pouncing it takes to give a trace of decoration. The painter must know something of the complexity of colors as all the colors used have a dull tone. The true bright colors will appear only after the final cooking.

SECOND COOKING The decorated piece is put back into the furnace for the second baking at 950°. The positioning of objects in the furnace is a delicate process requires great care and attention to avoid scratching or touching objects before cooking. When the object is painted on the surface of enamel, the decoration can be literally taken away by a simple rubbing of the fingers. The final baking may also be in more than 36 hours, this depends on the size of the objects. It ‘s very important that the cooling period is a natural cooling. The door of the furnace must not be opened until the internal temperature drops enough to avoid thermal shock that literally destroy the entire job. The finished product that comes out of the oven has bright colors and protected by a robust and uniform glass layer.
DISTRESSING This is the final stage of processing but, as important as the first, and is only made on traditional and classical works to give them an antique look, this process is the “antique”. The piece is covered with a dark chemical compound (whether this composition is a secret which varies from laboratory to laboratory!) And once dried, is masterfully taken in the right places, giving life to an antique look.