Learning Centre

How We Make a Filteroo

How We Make a Filteroo

Hey guys, Andrew here from Filteroo. 

I'm here with Peter, one of our potters who makes some of the pots here at Filteroo. He makes them here at this very potters wheel, and we're just going to go through how we make a Filteroo.

We're going make a few pots, and go through the whole process. There are three stages to making a Filteroo. There's a clay stage, a glazing stage, and like, a firing stage.

The Clay Stage

clay stage

The process always starts with good clay. We buy a good quality stoneware clay, which we process through the pug mills for de-airing and makes the clay even and homogenous. This enables us to make a pot cleanly and evenly, and consistent size.

After pugging, the clay takes about a day to dry, depending on the weather. The next day I start the throwing process, which is sitting at the potter’s wheel, actually making the pot. 

potter's wheel

The pots then sit and dry for a day before they go into the kiln for bisque firing. Bisque firing is the first firing process and turns the soft clay into hard clay like a biscuit. Once they are bisque fired, we start on the glazing process.

So the skills involved initially are the ability to throw the big pots on the potter’s wheel, which not a lot of potters can’t do or don’t want to do. 

Glazing Stage

glazing stage

The next tricky stage is glazing. The throwing and the glazing are the two processes of the whole ceramic spectrum that I've become quite good. 

And I make all my own glazes from raw materials, and at the moment we're just doing the four basic glazes—a white, natural and green. 

Firing stage

Once the pots have been glazed, they are ready for the final firing process which turns the glaze into a smooth, clean, glossy finish. 

After they come out of the kiln for the 2nd time, we give them a bit of a polish and finish them off before we pack them ready for shipping.

About the Filteroo Studio

filteroo

We are in the Mary Valley, just north of the Sunshine Coast in Queensland. Until a few years ago this area was going to become a dam. This whole area was going to be flooded, so this studio was going to be underwater. 

But they discovered that there was a particular lungfish and a turtle unique to the Mary River and so the then minister of the environment, Peter Garrett,  saved the valley. 

A young couple bought this place and turned it into an organic ginger and turmeric farm.

They had this massive shed just empty for a long time, and I put an ad on Gumtree. I had been looking for about six months for somewhere to set up, and within half an hour, they ran and said, "Come around and have a look at the shed." 

We drove in and said, "Oh my God, "I don't know if it's big enough. It's gotta be nine-hundred square meters." 

I rent a small section of it, and in doing so the board who certified the organic status had to come and inspect the studio. 

They wanted a list of all the chemicals and ingredients that I use, and of all of them, the only one that I had to get rid of was turpentine. So, as far as I know, I'm the only organically certified pottery in Australia.

Thank you for the tour and for sharing with us how we make the Filteroo!

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