T. Bock Designs
A Note from T. Bock,
These last two years have been amazing. Watching my business grow, being able to get some equipment that I thought was truly a want, looking forward to updating my trailer. I do put most of what I make back into my business, but being able to have the supplies to let my mind flow and have no bounds on my creativity is even more inspiring. I can not express the amount of pride in myself and my business, self-esteem, and joy owning my own business has given me, and even made it on the news this year(https://www.facebook.com/TBockDesigns/posts/1367741209935164). I couldn’t do it without the support of my #1 fan, my husband. Always understanding, supportive, and helpful. Even when that help has been to push me to know that I can do this on my own; from making and finishing pots to loading the trailer and set-up. This year I can’t count the times he has told me how proud he is of me. This whole thing fills me up; love from my husband, self-esteem of making something real, and to have people out there telling me how much they love their pot, where they put it, when they use it. I just feel so blessed that God has given me this gift. Thank you for being a part of my journey!
Most Common Questions
How long does it take to make a piece?
It typically takes a minimum of two weeks to make something. First most pieces are thrown on the wheel (10-15 minutes). Then they have to dry a little so they can support their own weight (24 hours). I take them off the batt and trim the bottom and make the foot ring (15 minutes). After that it is time for the decorations. Each different design takes different amounts of time. Some designs I have gotten pretty quick with and others it still takes me a long time (15 minutes-3hours). Time to dry(3-5 days). If the piece is still wet on the inside when you put it in the kiln, the moisture turns to steam, the pressure builds and it will explode! The next step is to bisque fire. This firing is to make the piece more durable for glazing. The heat for this is about 1940 degrees F(about 500 degrees above cremation). For the kiln to get that hot and cool down safely it takes about 28 hours. After the bisque fire they are then taken out and glazed (20-40 minutes per piece). The last step is to put them back in the kiln for the glaze fire. I usually fire to cone 6, 2175 degrees F.
How long does it take the kiln to fire?
About 28 hours for the kiln to reach my desired temperature and cool down to be able to take them out safely.
What is the swirl about?
The purple swirl as seen at the top of this page next to the top photo, is my signature on my work. In the ceramics world it is called a “chop”. The swirl represents the motion on the wheel, since most of my pieces are made on the wheel, and then the T. Bock represents my name. I also try to put “WDM IOWA USA” on the bottom near my chop so anyone would know that my pieces are truly made not only in the USA, But WDM(West Des Moines) Iowa. It is comforting to know that you can still find things made local when looking for yourself or for a gift. And when I travel, I like to find some souvenir that reminds me of a place and may quietly remind me of my travels, but still has style. Thats how I feel about my work.