Our Process

“We hope you enjoy each sculpture as much as we enjoy making it.”
—Reg and Kay Wearley

Kiln-fired figurines from Val Knight Studio

The process begins by wedging the clay using a pug mill to do most of the work. It is usually hand wedged again. Each figurine requires a ball of clay, about one pound in size, which is placed and centered on the potters wheel.  The body of the figurine is determined at this time. Each figurine body has a unique shape and height.  After all the bodies are thrown and placed on bats, the heads for each figurine are also thrown on potters wheel.  A somewhat larger ball of clay is placed on the wheel and each head is thrown “off the hump”. A number of heads can be formed off of each “hump”.

When the bodies and heads are dried to the leather hard stage, assembly can begin.  Using a sharp needle, each head has its facial features determined and it is attached to the appropriate body.  It is then ready to have the adornments (hats, sleeves, feathers, necklaces, etc.) attached and it is ready to dry.

When totally dry, the figurines are bisqued to turn them into, essentially, stone.  The next step is glazing, which includes pouring, dipping, and hand brushing on the various glazes used.   Most of the glazes are made here in the studio.  High firing is the last step in the process which is at a cone six in an electric kiln. Finally, each figurine is tagged with its own special verse, felted on the bottom to keep it from scratching surfaces, and is now ready to send to our customers.

Kiln-fired figurines from Val Knight Studio in NW Montana

13690 MT Hwy 200, Sun River, MT 59483
Phone: 406.264.5556, email: vkstudio@montanasky.us