Our studio is home to potters of many levels. Studio Potting is very different than taking a class, as in classes you have a professional (the instructor) doing a final quality check of your pots. As an independent studio potter, you need to do this final check for yourself. Things you should consider before placing a pot on the shelf to be fired:
Pot thickness: How thick is my pot? Have I trimmed enough clay off my pot? If a pot is too thick it will be left to dry for several weeks so as to not risk kiln explosions and damaging other students/ members work.
Cracks: Is my pot already cracked in the green ware stage? Would it be better to reclaim this clay while I still can? Once we bisque fire a pot there is no turning back, but if you notice your pot cracks while drying to leather hard, you can reclaim that clay and start again rather than losing the clay forever.
Final Touches: Did I clean my signature up? Are my edges soft? Will I need to sand this pot forever after bisque? These are things the instructor/ technician often provides for student pots. It is good to clean up your signature/ any carving when the pot is leather hard, and to make sure you don’t have any sharp edges.