I started this company in 2004 with a simple mission: to provide unique dinnerware options for the hospitality industry. I started small, with one wheel and one kiln, collaborating with chefs, taking risks, and learning from my mistakes. Since then, we’ve spent more than a decade testing numerous clay bodies and glazes, all in an effort to provide our customers with the most durable product possible—ware that can handle the abuse of high-volume kitchens and commercial dishwashers, and stand the test of time.
AN INSIDE LOOK AT OUR PROCESS
We use six building techniques to form our dinnerware: throwing, hand building, jiggering, slip casting, pressing, and extruding. Here’s a glimpse into how one of our pieces is made.
1. CLAY PROCESSING
Clay is removed from pallets and run through our pug mill. Pugging the clay removes air and provides the dense, consistent mix required for quality dinnerware production. Scrap clay from the forming process is mixed in with the new clay to eliminate as much waste as possible.
Clay is moved through our slab roller, then smoothed and cut into circles by hand. The discs are stacked, covered, and transferred to the jiggering wheel.
A custom mold is placed on the wheel, along with the clay slab. With the wheel spinning, the jigger operator applies pressure with a hand-made blade, cutting away the excess clay. The top surface of the plate is then handfinished with a sponge. The plate dries for 30 minutes to an hour, after which it is flipped onto a wooden board.
Once the plate is leather hard, i.e. stiff enough to handle but still slightly flexible, we trim the rim on the wheel, resulting in a smooth edge, which is a key contributor to the plate’s durability.
4. BISQUE FIRING
Once the plate is completely dry (typically 12 to 24 hours after trimming), it is put it through the initial bisque firing at 1850° F.
Once the fired bisque cools, the back stamp is applied and glaze is handsprayed, using one of our signature glazes. The specific gravity of the glazes are repeatedly measured to ensure optimal density and application thickness.
6. FINISHING & FIRING
After the plate is sprayed, the rim is handwiped with a wet sponge to leave a crisply marked glaze edge.
The glazed piece is loaded into our custom-built shuttle kiln and fired to a temperature of 2,200°F. We fire our kiln each night before leaving the studio, so it’s cooled down and ready to open by the time we arrive the next morning.
8. SORTING AND PACKING
When pieces come out of the kiln, they are sorted and subjected to a final round of quality checks. They are then packed, palletized, and sent to restaurants around the world.
“Think of a design as a recipe. Use the best materials available, practice it over and over, and eventually you’ll get it right.“