Happy Potters Santa Workshop

Pat Bender

The Spotlight Window this month features the “Happy Potters Santa Workshop”. The pottery is just a few of the items that will be sold at the Women’s Club’s Holiday Market on October 5.

Yes, it has been a “Santa’s Workshop” in the Pottery Studio since March. Early in February, Jackie Graham, Chairman, with her Holiday Market Committee Sarah Cunningham and Nancy Lussier started reviewing ideas for potters to make. Every Monday and Thursday in March the “pottery elves” were hard at work at each table, cutting out clay around each pattern for the selected projects.

Some of the pieces were seasonal plates for fall and holiday. The pumpkin plates are festive with leaves and acorns. The Santa hats, gift packages and snowman plates would be perfect for a buffet table or a gift with cookies.

The second week in March found everyone making Garden Artwork. The sunflowers, large or small with colorful petals, would brighten any flower garden or patio.

Unique Texas cheese plates and star ornaments will please any Texan on your list. The star ornaments have colorful melted glass centers. The stars can be added to a tree, or a package, to convey to the recipient that they are your “favorite star”!

A number of pieces are made just for Robson Ranch residents. This year, Robson Ranch logo mugs, are ideal for a gift or entertaining. Other special items include coasters, bowls, candle holders, wine caddies, and serving platters.

Each project takes the “pottery elves” about three to four weeks to complete. Construction on the flower projects would start with raw clay, cutting the pattern for each petal, adding texture or design.The petals are then mounted to the base, slipping parts together to form the layers of the flower. The item is then wrapped in plastic and placed in the damp room to dry slowly. When the piece is considered leather hard, it is placed out in the studio on a drying rack. Once the piece is no longer “cool to touch”, and the clay is dry, the Green Ware is then loaded into the bisque kiln. This kiln is fired to a Cone 4 temperature of 1945 degrees. The kiln is unloaded two to three days later, and then the glaze colors are selected. It takes three coats of each glaze color, painted by a brush, to thoroughly coat the bisque clay. This process requires the glaze to dry between each coat. Once the glaze has been applied, and glaze is dry, the piece is loaded into the glaze kiln for the final firing. The glaze kiln fires to a Cone 5 temperature of 2167 degrees. After the kiln is fired for another two to three days, and cooled, the kiln door is opened and you see the magic of a beautiful flower. This is an amazing moment in time!

The Holiday Market is the major fundraiser for the Happy Potters. It helps the studio buy supplies like glazes, clay, tools, and provide programs presented by special guest potters.

Please stop by the Happy Potters booth on October 5 from 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. for a unique one-of-a-kind holiday gift or treasure, homemade, especially for you.