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In the world of handmade crafts, consistency is a foreign term. It is not something that is guaranteed. Pottery pieces will never be identical and that’s the beauty of handmade ceramics. You get to embrace the uniqueness of every single piece that comes out of the blazing hot kiln.
When we first started our journey in creating handmade ceramics, we were forced to give up our obsession with precision and consistency, and we were taught to embrace differences and the beauty behind them.
Any slight change in a kiln temperature, glaze material measurements, or glaze spraying, would result in the creation of a little less than a perfect piece.
When the ceramic pieces come out of the kiln, we examine each and every piece thoroughly to categorize them into first-grade and seconds. Our first-grade pieces are the ones that you will find at our store and website. Our second-grade pieces are pieces that are perfectly safe and functional, but they are different in regard to aesthetic quality. They are safe to use, but they are not up to the high aesthetic standards of Ellie’s products, that’s why we call them our “perfectly imperfect” pieces. They are a bold reminder that beauty doesn’t always lie in perfection.
Every ceramic piece showcases the story of the hands that made it—starting from wheel throwing, to mixing glazes, to adjusting the kiln temperatures. These steps are all made by human hands, which may result in subtle differences in a handle, rim, or wall. You will find varying glaze thickness on each piece which imparts subtle color and texture variations. These variations, rather than being ‘imperfect’ or ‘flawed’, provide unique qualities inherent in handmade pottery.
Each piece of our pottery goes through at least eight pairs of hands before finding its way into your home. Therefore, each piece is unique, like people, trees, and flowers. Subtle differences in glaze thickness, color, and design are expected and embraced in a handmade product because no two pieces are ever alike.
Reasons can be divided into three categories, production, glazing, or firing.
– Production issues that can result in perfectly imperfect pieces include messy attachment of handles, the product was not correctly warped i.e. the product is not consistent in height all around its diameter, or the product is chipped during the production process.
– Glazing issues could be the glaze color coming out wrong after the second kiln firing as a result of using the wrong amount of materials that make up the glaze and scratching in the glaze which can be a result of over-sanding during the stage of smoothing out the foot ring.
– Finally, kiln issues are seen after the product comes out from the second firing. A product can have blackheads appear in the skin of the glaze, or it can come out bloated, i.e. have large round lumps that occur on any surface of the ceramic piece.
Our collectors value Ellie Home’s pieces because it is handmade in Egypt, because we are committed to sustainable practices in our production and packaging, because it is made without toxins like lead and cadmium, and because it has character.
Our pieces tell the story of their origins, of the people who made them, of their journey from a lump of clay to a functional vessel. This character creates a unique pottery line for your home, one which embodies “the beauty of things imperfect.”
For the past nine years, our artisans have been making Ellie Home pottery pieces, one piece at a time, with the traditional handmade manner and tools. When you hold our pottery you can feel the authenticity and the true craftsmanship of our artisans. We are proud of our artisans and every perfectly imperfect piece they create.