Our Process

Morris & James pottery is made with love and care. It takes up to three months to produce one masterpiece from start-to finish by expert artisans who are proud of their workmanship with this old world craft. It's a process that includes hand throwing, drying, bisque firing, glazing and glaze firing. We start with clay we've harvested ourselves from our onsite clay pit.

The Clay

We harvest clay most summers and store it as a fine powder for use throughout the year. We've achieved a unique blend that's perfect for large scale pots - smooth yet still richly textured thanks to our special mix including black sand which helps ensure a high quality finished product.


'Throwing' is the art of creating a shape or vessel on a potter's wheel. We have a unique method to assist our potter's in throwing large scale pots by hand. It all starts by extruding a large clay pipe which offers a starting point for our potter's to then create a shape. We're lucky to have an experienced pottery team here at Morris & James. Through many years of practice they have acquired the skill and physical strength to create large pots by hand.

Drying & Bisque Firing

Large scale ceramics need to be dried slowly in a controlled environment to reduce risk of cracking or warping. Here at Morris & James we have an insulated room called the ‘summer room’ for this very purpose. The summer room is is equipped with a dehumidifier an maintains the optimum conditions of temperature and humidity for drying pots slowly, whatever the weather or time of year. The very last moisture is extracted from pots by preheating the piece in an electric dryer to prevent cracking in the kilns. Larger pots can take up to 4 weeks to dry.

Clay is then converted to terracotta by heating it in a kiln to above 1,000°C in the first firing, which is called a 'bisque' firing. The kiln linings are made from ceramic fibre, which allows them to be fired much more rapidly and with less fuel than traditional firebrick kilns. LPG gas was chosen as the best fuel, as it is clean burning and provides a lot of heat quickly. The kilns incorporate kiln cars, which are essentially kiln floors on wheels. One car can be loaded or unloaded while another is firing.

Glazing & Hand Decorating

A glaze is a type of glass that is applied to the pot as a fine powder mixed with water, and then fused into a coating by a second 'glaze' firing. The purest colours are found in transparent glazes, so a white glaze is applied over the terracotta first. We've formulated our own glazes made up from frits (special powdered glasses) and various minerals. The glazes are applied by spraying, dipping, pouring or brushing.

Our team of artisans individually hand decorate each piece to complete the process. Although it looks like using normal paints, it is far from it. The glazes in their raw form do not come anywhere near the finished look. Each glaze has a nature of its own and as a result different techniques of brushing are used. Some need to be run off the tip of brush, some can be brushed and some are floated on with the brush.

Increasing the number of layers of glazes increases the risk of the glazes rebelling against each other. It is only upon firing that the true nature of glazes and clay are revealed to create a very distinctive and individual piece of living art for you to enjoy. It takes up to 2 years or more to be fully trained in the hand decorating area.

Factory Tours

Learn more when you get behind the scenes at a Morris & James factory tour.