Art for the Table
Decoration and single firing process
The decoration is hand painted directly on the green or unfired clay items. Items are then coated with a porcelain-like white glaze by dipping or spraying. The term ―underglaze‖ is often associated with Hadley Pottery—meaning that the whimsical hand painted design is under the glaze, making the decoration permanent.
The pottery is fired only one time to create a maximum bond between the body, decoration, and glaze. Separate firings, as is the practice with most dinnerware, leaves the decoration vulnerable to abrasion, and thus chipping. But Hadley Pottery’s single firing process—at approximately 2100 degree Fahrenheit—results in a sturdy product, which is chip resistant, dishwasher, oven, and microwave safe.
Unique glazes and “Hadley Blue”
All glazes are compounded and ground on the premises in Louisville, Kentucky. “Hadley Blue” –the company’s signature color, is vibrant due the combination of cobalt and various metal oxides. The high firing temperature and glazing requirements limit the range of colors but in turn create the ability to produce the highly durable Hadley product. All glazes are completely lead-free and cadmium-free.
How it’s made
1. Clay is transported inside the factory, where impurities are naturally removed with water. Clay is compressed and converted into “cakes” which are large thick square slabs.
2. Some Hadley Table Items, including plates are formed with the use of a large press which cuts through the cake to produce flattened curved shapes. Rounded items such as bowls and cups are either jiggered or cast on a potter’s wheel. Other items such as pitchers and figurines require unique molds.
3. Items are then air-dried, at which time they are called “green-ware.”
4. Artists hand paint Mary Alice Hadley designs on each piece before a white glaze is applied.
5. Products are then carefully loaded in the kiln. The heating process takes 24 hours. An additional 24 hours is required for cooling.