How GreenDish Clay Pots Made

CLAY SELECTION

Clay selection is the foundation to achieve desired output in the final product.The three most commonly used clay products are earthenware, mid/high-fire stoneware and porcelain. Clays come in white, off white, grey and dark colours such as TerraCotta.To choose the right clay type for any application, we consider the following factors.

    • The type/purpose of the end product
    • Production technique adopted
    • Type of kiln used for firing the clay
    • Skill level of available manpower
    • Cost

Over the years Potters worldwide have been digging and processing clay for various uses and have gained great knowledge in selecting the right clay from these experiences. At GreenDish we select the best combination of clay that closely suit our customer’ requirements well.

The GreenDish clay is harvested from secluded and non-industrialized lands from across the India. Great care is taken to ensure the composition and purity of our clay. We are probably one of the cookware makers to guarantee even our raw material -- that it's free of chemicals, toxins and other contaminants like LEAD and/or CADMIUM.

CLAY PREPARATION

The harvested clay is then wet and pugged (the process of making workable clay) and any stones are removed. The wet clay is left to sit for a period of 48 hours. Any trapped air is later removed by wedging.

 Soaking and Cleaning
Clay preparation starts with soaking clay in large water tanks to remove soil particles and other naturally found impurities
Filtering and Drying
Purified clay is in the form of thick slurry. The slurry is filter pressed to force out excess water and left to dry. The resultant clay is thick and rather dry, with about 20% water and is called cake now.
Pugging /Wedging
 The cake is put into a ‘pug mill’ where it is chopped into fine pieces to de-air the clay. When potters prefer do it by hand it is called wedging.

 

 MAKING THE POTS & LIDS

The pots and the lids are individually thrown on the wheel. The pots are thrown straight side up and the lids are separately thrown upside down! Great care is taken to ensure a neat finish right from the start! The bottom of the pot is made in concentric circles and finished in a way to take heat faster & spread it evenly. The sides on the other hand, are finished in down ward spirals so as to conserve heat without loosing much. The flat bottom, straight walled profile along with these key features makes it the "most energy efficient clay pot" in our modern day kitchens.

DRYING AND FINISHING

The cookware is set to dry for about 2 days and is then hand finished, individually, one piece at a time, on the wheel. After this the pot and the lids are set to dry together until they are fully dry and ready for the final finishing. This takes about 7-10 days, depending on the weather. Any unused or excess clay is put right back into the pug mill to reuse for the next batch, nothing is wasted!

 USING FINE CLAY NOT GLAZE

The bone-dried pots are then given their final finishing on the wheel. A thin coating of the finest partials of Pure clay with water (no additives) is applied to the outside of the pot and lid and the pieces are then hand burnished with a special wooden tool to a smooth finish. This method of finishing a pot without the use of glaze--a toxic liquid coating--dates back to over several thousands of years, It is the best way to get a clean finish without using toxic glaze. It’s hard work and requires skill but is totally worth the effort!

FIRING PROCESS

The pots are then set to dry for one more day and then packed in the kiln and fired to about 1750 – 2000 degree temperature. Because the raw material does not contain any added elasticizes, plasticizes other chemicals it is more that adequate to fire clay to this temperature. Only manufactured clay like ceramics or porcelain needs to be fired to higher temperatures to fuse the different additives together.
They are then cooled down to room temperature before being taken out of the kiln. This whole firing process takes about 24 hours!
 The firing process is especially fascinating and exciting for all of us at GreenDish Cookware. It’s fascinating because this raw palpable, soft earth we started off with is about to go through tremendous change and be transformed into a hard, solid, fully usable beauty that could last many many years -- it could very well exceed our lifetime and the ones after us too! Exciting because of the anticipation in wanting to know the results and hoping that every piece inside would turn out good. Nothing is added to the raw material to predict uniformity in results so each time it is a beautiful surprise that is much awaited for!

 

THE FINAL STEPS

 

After firing, each pot is removed from the kiln and inspected thoroughly to make sure they have come out successful from the great ordeal. They are wiped with water set to dry and then packed for shipment.  All our products are packed with 100% recyclable, reusable material.
The special finishing by burnishing lets you start cooking without having to spend a lot of time and effort seasoning your clay pot.