Thursday, September 13, 2012

Mugs, Tumblers and Cup Marathon

Working in production can sure teach you a lot fo things. I have been making mugs, cups and tumblers with buttons for 5 years now and never did I have a problem with the buttons.
Recently I was running really low on them and decided to go for a marathon of making mugs and cups. These are entirely handbuilt from slabs of clay and wrapped around to emmulate the look of fabric. To add to the effect I add buttons.
With this marathon, I made 80+ mugs/tumblers/cups. It was a fun guessing game on Facebook when everyone jumped in guessing the number of buttons I had to put on these cups. I had to make 308 buttons total!!
Since this was a lot of buttons, I changed my method slightly. Instead of making 10 buttons at a time and sticking them, I made 20 buttons at a time. This did speed up my process but everything comes at a price.
Everything came out fine in the bisque firing and great in the glaze firing too. And then it was like watching a horror movie unfold in front of me. While sitting on the shelf after 3-4 hours of getting out of the kiln, I started hearing pops and pings. Curious to see what it was, I noticed a button from a cup just pop out! This has never happened so I was in complete disbelief.
I did loose quite a few and I am now working on figuring out how to fix them and sell them as seconds. So look out for an online seconds sale coming up soon, where these will be sold at 50% off. I will make them look pretty again, so they will still be good.
And while I am still stratching my head wondering what went wrong, I get an email which brings back a smile to my face. One of my repeat customers, Robyn, has been purchasing my mugs over the last few years. She sends me a picture of all my mugs and bowls she has purchased sitting pretty in her kitchen. She is using them everyday and loving them.Just made my day seeing a dedicated shelf for my work!
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4 comments:

-Rob, Simple Circle Studios said...

Wow, that is a very un-welcomed surprise. I wonder why they waited until after the firing to pop off?
You should be able to fix them up relatively easy though, I would think. Just a dab of glaze or underglaze and pop them back in the kiln?

Creative with Clay: Charan Sachar said...

No easy fix. I tried, but since there is nothing holding them on to the mug, in the subsequent firing the buttons slide down. :(

smartcat said...

If you are selling them as seconds a good, quick setting epoxy may be your best friend.

Nikola Mitrovic said...
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