I offered to make a couple of hundred wedding favours for my niece and her fiance as our wedding gift to them – they wanted half for women (ceramic hearts) and half for the men (shortbread). Here is how they came along (the hearts, that is… the shortbread, well, that’s another story!)
First of all is preparing and rolling out the clay into even slabs and cutting out the shapes. Leftover clay can be kneaded and rolled out again until all the hearts are cut out. It’s not the pretty part of the making – sticky hands and dirty cloths…
The next step is to make the wee holes, smooth the edges and the surfaces of the hearts. It is a very therapeutic process as it can’t be riushed for fear of mis-shaping the hearts. By the way, do you recognise the crochetting? It comes in very useful!
This was the design that Lily chose from a few samples I sent to her. The theme of the wedding was spring yellows and flowers, cream teas and bunting so the lace and the colours will reflect that. Time for the hearts to be dried and I keep them flat between two pieces of plasterboard.
Here are some of the hearts stacked in the kiln ready for firing, along with a few other bits and pieces. In a ‘biscuit’ firing (the first firing) pieces can touch one another, so I can load up the kiln nicely. This is one shelf near the top of the kiln. Then start the first of the long waits – a good twenty-four hours. This whole thing can’t be hurried – especially not for a wedding! Before glazing all the hearts, I did a few samples to see how many layers of each glaze worked best. Eventually, I got to glaze them all, and after a couple more firings, here they are with their pretty ribbon attached.
Here’s to the rest of your wedded lives, Lily and Tom! May you also learn patience and find joy!