A Walk Through the Potter’s House
A visit to our pottery shop is an education in itself. You will see the potters working at the wheels to create a wide variety of functional ware. Looking at the glistening rows of finished vessels waiting on the ample displays, it seems a wonder that these were once just formless lumps of soft clay. Within The Potter’s House, it is possible to observe the many steps in the fascinating process of bringing the clay through its long journey to becoming a beautiful, useful vessel.
Stand a few minutes in front of one of the wheels and watch a Homestead Heritage potter work the clay. The spinning, supple clay on the wheel smooths out under the steady pressure of the potter’s hands. Skillful fingers apply pressure on the sides, and the pot begins to take shape, rising and thinning. It is nudged on gingerly until it is smoothed into a pleasing shape. The potter eases the newly made pot off the wheel, and places it on the rack to dry.
Walk over to the racks of dry pottery. Once completely dry, they will be fired in a kiln to change them forever into ceramic objects. We first fire the pots to 1845ºF (lower than the glazing temperature) to make them stable, ready for glazing and less breakable. This stage is called bisque ware. You can recognize the bisque pottery by its white eggshell appearance.
Notice the glazing area. We mix all of our glazes from powdered minerals according to formulas we devised to fit our clay and firing methods. Varying the ingredients in the mixes causes the different colors and textures of the glazes. Once the pots are glazed, we place them in the large kiln to fire to the final temperature of 2400ºF. This firing fuses the clay and glaze together to form the beautiful pots that you see on the shelves. Our pottery is all lead-free, microwave- and oven-safe.
Much of the finished pottery is called stoneware, a name used to reflect the stone like nature of the vessels. We also produce fine porcelain pottery in a variety of glazed hues.
Homestead Heritage potters are available to make your custom pottery project.
Our pottery shop is coming soon and will be located in beautiful Llano County, Texas. Other things to do in the pristine Texas hill country are visit Inks Lake State Park, fish Lake Buchanan, or observe wildlife like whitetail and turkey using the best binoculars for hunting. Whatever you find to do, please enjoy your visit to the Texas hill country, and consider adding a pottery visit to your itinerary!