1. Train 3-7 years to make pieces good enough to sell.
  2. Drive to North York and pick up the clay – 3-4 hour trip each way.
  3. Unload clay into basement studio (approximately 1000 lbs!!).
  4. Weigh out amount needed for the mug.
  5. Wedge (knead) clay.
  6. Centre clay on wheel and throw the mug shape.
  7. Remove from wheel and let dry 24 - 48 hours; depending on humidity.
  8. Put mug back on wheel and trim.
  9. Hand create handle.
  10. Let handle dry 1 to 5 hours; depending on humidity.
  11. Attach handle to trimmed mug.
  12. Sign bottom of mug with “Sam, Maid O’Mud, Canada”.
  13. Cover handle in wax to slow drying on very dry days.
  14. Let mug dry 1 week minimum. If mug cracks at this point, re-cycle clay and start over at step 4.
  15. Place mug in kiln and fire to 1850 F - about 15-18 hours.
  16. Unload mug from the kiln. If mug has cracked during first firing, discard, write-off and start over at step 2.
  17. Mix glaze(s). Each glaze requires approximately 3 hours to mix and sieve.
  18. Put wax on the bottom of mug so it will not stick to kiln shelf.
  19. Choose design and glaze mug. This can take seconds or hours, depending on design.
  20. Let mug dry thoroughly.
  21. Load glazed mug back into kiln. If glaze scratches or gets bumped, wash with hot water and start back at step 15.
  22. Fire glazed mug to 2155 F. This takes 14-18 hours depending on electricity demands.
  23. Hold at 2155 F for approximately 20 minutes. Make sure all shelves reach the exact same temperature.
  24. Added in 2006 – a fire down schedule, adding hours to the firing schedule, and beautiful depth to the glazes.
  25. Wait approximately 14 hours for kiln to cool to under 350 F before opening.
  26. Remove and check mug. If cracked, discard, write-off and start over at step 2.
  27. If mug has miraculously survived to this point, clean sharp bits off bottom with grinding stone by hand, and put out for sale.
  28. Last, but certainly not least instruction; try not to attack the foolish person who innocently asks "Why does this mug cost so much?"

    AND, let us not forget all the hidden steps NOT numbered in here.
  • Answer phone
  • Sell pots
  • Pay Ontario Hydro
  • Develop new glazes and slips
  • Teach
  • Create new designs
  • Answer guild members questions
  • Pay Ontario Hydro
  • Put out signs on road
  • Have MTO take signs off road
  • Pay Ontario Hydro
  • Re-cycle clay
  • Repair kiln
  • Have students drop in on me
  • Pay Ontario Hydro
  • Clean showroom
  • Make jewellery attachments
  • Pay Ontario Hydro...

Thank you for your time and attention. - Sam