Both my wife and I have been hard at work getting pots through the kilns and starting to prep the trees in the nursery for the coming spring season. Here is a peak into the world of a pot at Willow Bonsai.
On a daily basis, Mavourneen is busy finishing some sort of bonsai pot. This can range from our premium range of pots to the bulk orders we get from other nurseries. Every pot that goes out of Willow Bonsai Shop goes through her hands. She is our quality control and has a serious eye for detail. The picture above shows the inside of our pottery studio where Mavourneen is hard at work on a pot.
In the above image, we have the casting station where Donald, our ever-dependable employee, and I cast the pots into moulds. Casting is the process of pouring slip clay into a mould to create a shape. We work together most days to get enough pots done, but Donald also works on his own with our bulk range. He only started pottery this year, and I have been training him in the ins and outs of the casting process. He used to work in our landscaping company and has been with us for almost ten years now.
In the image below, I am busy glazing a pot. Each glazed pot is dipped into one of our reactive glazes. Before they go into the kiln, each pot is cleaned so that the glaze is only where we want it to be. It normally takes a full day – from 7 AM until 8 PM – to glaze the pots and pack two kilns. The day that this image was taken, I glazed about 300 pots. After the glazing process, we fire up the two kilns every day for five days to get all the pots finished.
It is such a great feeling when the pots are finished and look amazing, with their glaze shining in the sun. Every kiln we open is a surprise because, depending on the position of the pot and the glaze we use, each pot comes out differently and is unique. But as with all things, we have to start at the beginning again and cast more to get them through the ten steps it takes to make a Willow Bonsai pot.
As the months go by, we will be showing more behind the scenes from our nursery, pottery, and shop. Is there anything that you would like to see? If so, let us know.