leighwechter on Apr 12, 2015
I love my new bean pot by Jan! She took the time to make it for me and shared some pictures along the way as I am a home potter and was interested in the process. Jan was great to work with and the pot shipped with no trouble from the West coast to the East coast as she packed it very carefully. My first pot of beans never tasted so good! I am looking forward to years of use with this hand made mica bean pot.
Margery on Mar 3, 2014
This was an "out of the box" purchase - I had never bought anything like this before. I absolutely love it. It is graceful, classy - and adds a rich element to my living room - I just love to stare at it. Really thrilled with this purchase.
My journey to mica boot camp
It all started when my daughter invited me to visit her in La Madera New Mexico where she was doing research on the Jicarilla Apache Tribe. I took lessons at the studio of a master in micaceous clay pottery.
The first day we went to the mountains and harvested the raw mica clay.
The household was a very busy place. We got up early in the morning to start the learning process. As I watched the master coil and build a perfeclly shaped bean pot I thought, how does he do that? I was accustomed to working on a wheel and was in awe to watch him work so fast using the hand coiling method.
My first pot was not a thing of beauty. All in all I made about 4 pots to take home with me and one to give to my daughter (my first pot).
The first step to building a pot is to select a "puki" or a bowl that will achieve the shape and size you want your pot to be.
You then shape a tortilla out of clay and place it in the bottom of a oiled and mica dusted bowl. You then start the coiling process. Once your piece is shaped the way you want you then need to dry it. Depending on the humidity and temperature outside this could take a couple of days.
Once dry you then need to "water scrape" your piece, this is simply achieved by using a thick slurry of your clay and scrape it from the bottom of the pot to the top to take off the high spots. You then have to let it dry again. Once dry you then use a rock (sand stone) to further refine your work. Then comes the sanding, repairing, sanding and sanding.
The final step is to apply a slip that contains larger flecks of mica in the clay and you apply it with a damp-dry sponge until it shines. You finish the pot with the final polishing with a smooth stone. The pot is now ready for the final firing.
The firing is the critical step of the whole process. Your baby is about to be born and all thoughts have to be positive and calm. After all, you have spent quite a bit of time getting ready for this beautiful event! After the fire has died down you then take it out of the fire and place a bit of your hair on it to to pass your spirit on to the little one.
I hope all my babies find good homes and will be passed on to future generations.
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Owner, Designer, Maker
In 1998, I took a two week class from Felipe Ortega. My formal education in this process is lovingly referred to as "Mica Boot Camp." I have never looked back! The process is quite time consuming but the end result is absolutely stunning.
My partner who would rather be cooling off instead of working!
Please note that I double box each shipment after carefully wrapping each individual item in bubble wrap inside of the interior box. I use cushioning material between the interior and exterior boxes so that the resulting package can withstand being dropped or having other boxes stacked on it. Should an item break in shipment despite these precautions, I will gladly issue a full refund or send a replacement item (your choice).
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Items usually ship within 72 hours of receipt of payment. I will notify you if shipment is delayed
Refunds and Exchanges
Should an item break in shipment despite being carefully packed I will gladly issue a full refund or send a replacement item (your choice).
If you are unhappy for some other reason, please notify me within 15 days of receiving your purchase and I will gladly issue a refund. I just ask that you repackage the item in the packing materials in which it was shipped and return it to me intact.