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How Julianne Ahn Made Her Ceramic Of a Kind Edition

The heat is on.

Though she hasn’t been doing ceramics for that long—she’s only been at it since 2011—Object & Totem’s Julianne Ahn knows a thing or seven about wheel-throwing. Here’s a look at how she transforms an old lump o’ clay into an Of a Kind treasure. —olivia seely

“After you measure out a certain amount of clay, you wedge it to get rid of the air bubbles and then you throw it on the wheel and center it. This picture is a glop of clay being centered so it stays balanced in the middle of the vat. Each one has a bit of a nuance depending on what I’m focusing on, or what I’m listening to. But, for the most part, they’re all measured to the exact size. “

“When you finish a piece and it’s been trimmed and stamped and dries out, it’s called greenware. It shrinks a little bit after the moisture leaves the clay body. It’s still very fragile but easier to sand down if you need to edit any parts of it that are sharp.”

“Each kiln-firing goes for almost 24 hours. It takes about 12 hours to get to its peak temperature and then 12 hours to cool down fully. You have to fire it twice.”

“This is my glazing table where I glaze all of the bottles after they cool down. Glazing is like a monster on its own. You never know what’s going to happen, because there are so many variables.”

“I have a few different glazes that I work with. It’s interesting because you can glaze them all the same and they will all come out differently. It has to do with the foundation and its reaction to the glaze. It’s just a matter of brushing the glaze on really evenly and turning your hand. It’s obvious when it’s hand-painted versus dipped or poured.”

Out of the kiln the last time—ta-da!

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