From raw material to finished pottery

After the clay has been placed in the appropriate molds and dried, the pottery objects are first fired at 950° C. After glazing, they are fired a second time, this time at 1280° C. This process produces the so-called "stoneware", not to be confused with "earthenware", which is fired at lower temperatures. There are also some items that are cast from porcelain, such as the small oil lamps. The glazes of these products are made of silicates, which are formed by the fusion of various minerals at 1280° C: Silicon, lime, feldspar, talc and kaolin. By mixing different substances, the different colors are created. To obtain ivory, brown, black or green glazes, iron oxide is added. For blue and violet, copper or cobalt is added. An orange-yellow is created by adding titanium, to name just a few color examples. In some cases, plant ash is also used for the glazes. This ash consists mainly of minerals that the plant has absorbed from the soil during its growth. For some of the glazes, these minerals are also artificially composed. Since the brothers sometimes could not meet the high demand for pottery on their own, they collaborate with some potters in the area for the first firing of the pieces.

Practical hints for the pottery

- The glazes of the pottery from Taizé do not contain any toxic substances (such as lead). This has been confirmed by a government laboratory.

- All items are dishwasher safe as well as microwave safe.

- It is not advisable to put the pottery in a hot oven (above 200°C). Strong temperature fluctuations should be avoided (thermal shock). 

Source: Taizé