Firebrand Pottery, Our Process

When we say our pottery is handmade and one-of-a-kind, we mean it. Each stage of the pottery-making process allows each piece to have its own character and story, making it a work of art. Follow us on Instagram and Facebook to see process videos and get a behind-the-scenes look at Firebrand Pottery.


A lump of clay is hand thrown on our pottery wheel, by our professional potter. Wheel throwing is the technique of shaping round ceramics, using a potter’s wheel. The “throwing” is the shaping of the clay with your hands.


After a piece has been shaped, but not fired it is very fragile and needs some time to dry and harden.


The greenware is placed in our first kiln for a firing that turns pottery into ceramic material ready to glaze. This process takes a couple of days to fire and to cool enough so that we can remove it.


Once the pottery has become bisqueware, it is ready to glaze. We dip each piece into our desired glaze colors, for a specific amount of time. This process affects the resulting color of the piece. Too much glaze, and it will run and ruin the piece. Too little glaze and the color will be undesirable


We call our big, gas-fired kiln, “The Big Boy.” He is so large that we have him on railroad tracks to open and close, and it takes some muscle! Loading the kiln takes several hours, as you have to build your shelves from the ground up, layering your pieces in a certain way. Placement is important, as well, in order to get the best firing and color.

Inside the kiln, the glaze interacts with the heat of the kiln, and depending on where it is in the kiln, or even which way it is facing, the color will come out differently each time. Every time we open the kiln, we are taking pictures and marveling at how science and art collide to create such beautiful pieces.

We fire to a cone 10, which means we get to around 2300 degrees, and this process is overseen by people on our team with specialized knowledge of kiln firing. From the time in the kiln, to the time out of the kiln, it is usually 3 days.


The pottery is absolutely beautiful, when it comes out of the kiln, but it isn’t quite ready to be sold. Each piece has to be hand sanded to smooth out any parts where the raw clay body shows through.


Finally, the Firebrand Pottery you love is ready to be “added to cart” online or purchased off the shelf at our Castroville location!

Why is Handmade Pottery Better?

  1. If your pottery piece survived a 2300-degree kiln, you basically can’t hurt it. So, feel free to put in the microwave, oven and even the dishwasher. The only thing you can’t do is drop it!
  2. An item that is handmade is unique and has character, so no one else will have one just like yours.
  3. Hand-thrown pottery is an art that has been around for centuries passed down from generation to generation. By buying handmade pottery, you are helping keep this artform alive for another generation to come.
  4. We feel it keeps cold things cold and hot things hot, longer than other vessels.
  5. It has a certain “feel” that mass-produced products don’t have. Call us crazy, but, when you hold a Firebrand Pottery piece in your hand, you will know what we are talking about. Its weight feels sturdy, and a handmade pottery mug in your hands, full of warm liquid, produces an instant cozy feeling.
  6. Handmade items have a story and mean so much more, when given as a gift.
  7. You supported a family-owned business and the local economy!

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