SKT Ceramics was founded in New York by artist Susannah Tisue in 2006, during her three year artist residency at Greenwich House Pottery in Manhattan's West Village. The SKT studio, after 7 years in Brooklyn, has now made its permanent home in Cincinnati, Ohio. Each high fired porcelain piece merges Susannah's love of painting, printmaking, and the transformative process of firing. The pieces are crafted on the thick side—taking the durability of porcelain and creating sturdy, rustic wares with a refined sensibility. Each one-of-a-kind piece reflects the detailed process used to make it and is designed to bring delight to your home and table for years to come.
Every step of making each SKT piece is done in our studio—from the hand building, throwing and pressing of the pieces, to mixing of the high fire glazes, to the screen printing of the colored clay images that adorn each piece. The multi-step processes take weeks to complete, and the large gas kiln must be filled with over 300 pieces before it can be fired.
Clay All SKT Ceramics pieces are made out of English Porcelain. Wheel-thrown pottery pieces are made from clay, wedged directly from fresh bags of porcelain. Clay trimmings from the wheel-thrown and pressed work are saved and reconstituted for use in our woodgrain slab dishes, ensuring that little material goes to waste.
Ram Pressing In 2013, thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign, we added an industrial RAM Press to the SKT studios. The RAM Press is a hydraulic press that employs plaster molds of our most popular forms and streamlines the production of the pieces. We've been able to increase production and consistency, shorten lead times and web availability, and add new illustrations to the SKT line. With the addition of the RAM press to the studio, we've been able to expand our wheel thrown line, with new forms including teapots, pitchers and creamers.
Images SKT pieces are screen printed or hand-painted with artist Susannah Tisue's original illustrations. Each screen printed image is initially silkscreened with colored clay on Japanese rice paper, then transferred to the freshly trimmed pottery.
Glazing After the initial low temperature bisque firing—which makes the pieces durable enough to glaze— SKT illustrations are hand painted with a clear glaze, followed by a coating of wax, and dipped in the background glaze. All of our glaze colors are mixed in house and are lead tested and food safe.
Firing The final glaze firing for the pieces is done in a gas kiln. The gas kiln allows for reduction firing which produces vibrant glaze colors. We fire to cone 10, or 2380 °F. The kiln, due to its size, takes over a month to fill, a day to load, a day to fire, and two days to cool. Since the reduction atmosphere in the kiln is unpredictable and the images transform under the glaze, opening the kiln after the cooling is always exciting! The specialty firing capabilities needed to produce the vibrant glaze colors and vitrified porcelain make SKT pieces so unique.