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Cameron Williams | Episode 826
Cameron Williams works to Order specializing in large wheel formed planter commissions for Shopping centres, office blocks and homes. Cameron’s journey began 40 years ago at East Sydney Techical College, where students learned all aspects of the craft. Cameron did an apprenticeship followed with Errol Barnes followed by his first big commission which was Australia’s New Parliament House.
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How much lead time do you actually need from the time a person puts in an order until the time you can actually deliver? What’s your lead time?
3 weeks minimum. 8 weeks maximum.
So when you have 500 pots that are coming up on order. How long does it take you to make that many pots?
That job will take four months.
Do you ever have a hard time saying no to customers if they ask you to do it faster?
I’m getting better at it Paul. I always sucked at saying no but I’m actually getting pretty good at it now.
Do you have a weekly schedule that you live off of?
No. I like to pack the kiln Mondays and Fridays but it’s all flexible. I just do what the pots tell me.
So how often are you actually firing?
Twice a week at the moment.
After you have finished firing your pots is there a lot of post firing work that needs to be done to clean pots up?
Yes, if they are natural raw clay and they are earthenware I put an impregnating surface on them that seals them. I also waterproof the interiors with plastic coatings and I cover each one in Glad wrap so when it rides to its eventual place it’s good to go.
So once a piece is fired how much time is left in terms of clean up and wrapping and all that you need to do to get it ready?
Not much, Paul. It’s a matter of minutes. Just paint the inside with waterproofing, wrapping them in plastic, or spraying on the water sealer, it all takes minutes.
You have a side gig going and you make pizzas. What’s your favorite pizza and why?
Just a pepperoni one. Just because it’s so simple. It’s just the dough, the tomato sauce, the pepperoni, the cheese. We do the smokey meat, we do the spinach and feta, and we do the egg and bacon breakfast one but I have once slice of pepperoni each week and that’s it.
Stephanie Alexander The Cook’s Companion