kéceramics product undergoes various intricate production processes whereby each item is individually hand-crafted and hand-painted, making any two items similar, yet not the same. Each kéceramics product is considered an art piece by itself. Enjoy our kéceramics FACTORY TOUR…
1. PROTO-TYPE SAMPLE & MOLD PRODUCTION
Once a design idea is developed and sketch presentations & depictions are agreed upon, a proto-type sample is produced by either hand-molding the clay shape, or throwing it on the potter’s wheel. Depending on the design requirements, carvings and other etchings are added and then fired. The finished sample is further inspected and modified accordingly until all requirements are met.
The proto-type sample may be used as the master mold whenever suitable, or else, a master mold made of hard plaster is created to replicate the proto-type sample. The finished master mold will be used to produce plaster molds for instant replications of the design.
2. CLAY-MIXING & CASTING
Half-processed clay solids are first grounded into smaller pieces before mixing them with water and sodium inside the clay mixer. Clay mixing is normally done first thing morning for approximately 1 hour to ensure all solids are softened and melted. Regular mixing is repeated whenever necessary to ensure appropriate clay consistency for immediate casting.
Casting involves the pouring of liquid clay into plaster molds until the whole hollow mold is filled up to the brim. The liquid clay is left inside the mold for 20-40 minutes, depending on the clay thickness preferred, to allow a layer of hardened clay to be formed on the inner surfaces of the mold. Once the desired thickness is achieved, remaining liquid clay is poured out, to be re-used for other castings.
3. CLAY-FORMING & DRYING
Hardened clay layer is left unattended inside the mold for a further 30-50 minutes to dry-up. Once half-dried, the plaster mold is opened to reveal the shape of the product. By this stage, the clay-form should be able to stand on its own without any mold support, or else, it may need more unattended drying period.
Our smallest items and knick-knacks occasionally skip liquid clay-casting procedures, but instead, half-solid clay is pressed into the mold to achieve an instant product shape.
4. CLEANING & TRIMMING
Cleaning & trimming are easier done whilst the clay-form is still half-dried & half-soft. Mold lines are cut, extra edges are trimmed, uneven body shape & textures are modified and smoothen out whenever needed, and product branding may be permanently etched underneath the product base.
Once everything is cleaned and trimmed, the clay-form is like a white 3D-canvas ready to be drawn, carved, embossed and painted on… kéceramics design specialty (surface decorations) will come into play from this stage onwards…
5. SURFACE DECORATIONS : Hand carving
Depending on the design chosen, carving/etchings of motives is individually done by expert hands. Therefore, although the product shape is consistent as it has been formed via molds, the hand-carvings are exclusive and individualistic. This photo shows the RICH HABITAT design being transferred and developed from paper-sketches into clay-forms.
6. SURFACE DECORATIONS : Hand embossing
ANTIQUE BLUE design collection shown here, is characterized by embossed geometric motives, intricately arranged in one straight line around the clay-body and lid.
All the manual intricacies involved in our surface decorations justify our regular usage of molds for standard body formations.
7. SURFACE DECORATIONS : Mold embossing
For bulk and urgent production, embossed PUCUK PAKU GAJAH motives already incorporated inside the mold, allow immediate and standardized motive arrangements on the product surfaces. Individual hand-trimmings, however, are always necessary to ensure the handcrafted quality finishes are always met and adhered to.
8. BISQUE-WARE FIRING
Bisque-ware firing is the first firing done, after all necessary carvings, etchings, embossing and paintings are completed. Before proceeding to bisque-firing, clay-forms must be fully-dried under the sun, or else, the clay-forms will crack or crumble during firing. Bisque-firing at 1060 degree Celsius will get rid of all remaining moisture in the hardened clay-body.
9. GLAZING & 2ND FIRING
Glazing in our production processes is normally applied as spot-glazing on the product surfaces and/or total-glazing of the inner surfaces. As such, glazing can either be done during first firing or second firing consecutively. Our glaze colors and textures are limited to black or off-white crackled glazes only.
10. SURFACE DECORATIONS : Acrylic colouring
Our final surface decoration process is yet another intricate manual exercise of applying acrylic colors to some of the design motives to achieve the final look of the ceramic product. Shown here is the MARINER design collection undergoing final colouring processes. After all colors and decorations have been applied, two layers of matte protective coating will ensure durability and long-lasting effects of the acrylics. kéceramics products have been known to portray the constant mixing of the traditional features of ceramic-making with contemporary and out-of-the-book methods of ceramic product presentation.
11. QUALITY PACKING
kéceramics packaging boxes have been designed with minute considerations to their aesthetic, functional and safety functions. The packaging boxes are double-corrugated to reduce impact, appropriately-sized for easy handlings, and printed with kéceramics brand-name for immediate product positioning. The packaging box is of the same high quality as the products it carries.