Each and every bowl at Chow Bella is hand made to order (unless it's a ready made spaniel bowl which are held in stock).
When you place your order, you will be added to the waiting list (I generally have around 60 orders on the list but at Christmas this goes up to 200!). There's only me working here which is why I can't always speed up the waiting time.
Usually around 2 weeks after receiving your order, I'll physically throw it on the wheel. It's then left overnight, and the next day has your wording stamped permanently into the clay.
It's left for a couple of days after this to dry out to the "leather hard" stage, at which stage the bottom is "turned" (tidied up - see pic below).
The next stage is drying out. The clay needs to be absolutely bone dry before it can be fired, otherwise steam generated as it heats up in the kiln can cause it to blow up. Drying can take up to ten days in the cooler months.
Once dry, it is bisque fired (first firing), and I can then start on the next part of filling in the letters and painting your choice of colour onto the bowl.
Finally, it's dunked in a big bucket of glaze and has it's final (glaze) firing. It's then ready to be packed up and sent to the customer - normally around 3-4 weeks after ordering.
This was a repeat order. Both my spaniels (Morgan and Hugo) have Chow Bella bowls and when clumsy hubby dropped Morgan's original 8 year old bowl it was the perfect excuse to get a replacement! Claire is great to deal with, keeping me informed throughout about the progress of my order. It arrived beautifully and carefully packaged and Morgan is a happy chappy once again. Thank you Claire! Elaine