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About Us


To provide you with the best quality custom hand painted home ceramic d├ęcor and gifts made in the USA.

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We are a small family owned business that first opened its doors in the early 1960's. The business was started by Alvin "Pete" and Edna Peterson as a hobby ceramics studio. We have grown a lot over the years to become what we are today. We hope to continue this growth with the introduction of our prescence on the internet with this site and our social media sites.

Hillside Ceramics & Gifts logo
Hillside Ceramics & Gifts
5621 Hillside Ave.
Indianapolis, IN, 46220
Phone: (317)255-4573

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The Process

The majority of ceramic items that we offer are created through a process called slipcasting. We start with plaster molds which have been cast around an object that we wish to reproduce and pour in slip (essentially liquid clay) and allow the mold to sit for a period of time after which the remaining liquid if any is poured out.

The mold is then allowed to sit for an additional time ranging form one to several days depending on how wet it has become which allows the item inside to set up sufficiently to be handled without being damaged. Once removed it is fettled and allowed to dry completely. At this point the item is very delicate and is called greenware.

Depending on the desired look and finish of the item it may or may not be decorated before being placed into a kiln. The kiln is then fired to appropriate 2000 °F.

This firing causes the item to harden considerably and is now called bisque. This process of decorating and firing may be followed several times at various different temperatures until the desired look and finish is acheived. Each firing takes at least one days time to allow the item to reach the desired temperature and then to cool.

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