The Making Of: How our Handmade Ceramics are Crafted


When we started on our journey to produce a collection of unique tableware, we knew that our approach would be natural, and artisan made. From earth to hand, conscious process has been taken every step of the way.

Cisco & The Sun works with three different types of clay, sourced from the mineral-rich mountainous region of Cambodia. Enriched with natural derived nutrients and metallic oxides, which evolve into a spectacular spectrum of colours during our unique ‘reduction’ high temperature firing process. Following an all-natural path, our ceramics are complimented with non-toxic, low impact glazes or left organically unadulterated with no glaze at all. Our ceramists are local artisans in Cambodia and Indonesia who craft entirely by hand using ancient and considered techniques. 


Applying an intimate method of ceramic making that is unique to Sapporo, Japan, our pieces are devised using the sixth sense – or what the Japanese refer to as “wabi sabi”.  This approach celebrates the raw beauty in variation and imperfection, allowing the naturally occurring textures, asymmetry and movement of both the materials and the artisan to imbue a unique spirit in every piece.


There are six steps to our ceramic making process, all of which are performed with simplicity and harmony in mind:

1. Preparing The Clay
The natural clays are cleaned and procured, before being dried for two weeks and left to soften. 

2. Production
The first step in making the clay production-ready is to ensure all the air pockets have been removed, which is done using a “wedging” technique.  There are three methods we can employ to craft it into pottery:

- Using a man-powered potter’s wheel, which creates a circular shape
- Using hand moulding, which can create many organic shapes
- Using a plaster mould, which can create detailed designs.

3. Low Firing
Once the clay has been shaped it is dried thoroughly and put in the gas kiln at 800°C for 10-12 hours. The kilns we use produce a dynamic energy and are highly insulated, allowing a sustainable low-firing process that still ensures the highest durability and quality.

4. Glazing
After low firing, all items are left overnight to cool down. If the design requires a glaze, this is carried out the following day using non-toxic, low impact glaze.

5. High Firing
After glazing, the items are prepared for the kiln again. This time the designs are heated at 1300°C for 12-14 hours to mature the glaze and fuse the clay particles into a strong ceramic material. Cisco & the Sun have a strict policy to only fire the kiln when it is completely full.

6. Quality Check & Delivery
All our ceramics are quality checked before being given final approval and – with a focus on creating as little waste as possible – are packed in recycled cardboard boxes and protected by shredded recycled newspaper.

 

Being handmade, slight variances may exist within each item, giving uniqueness to glaze, size, texture and weight. After all, that is the beauty of nature.
 
Shop the new Modern Essentials collection in-store at one of our stockists or shop online with AfterPay and worldwide shipping available. 

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