Saturday, 14 July 2012
I am recycling old bits of dried out clay which I have collected from various sources. Then I have added a sand(grog) to the clay which I dug out at Shaugh Prior, Devon, which, I have been told , by Michael Berry, was the residue from granite quarrying there. The prepearation of the clay is labour intensive, it takes a while for the dry clay to slake down, then it has to be dried out on bats (when the weather is damp this is a much longer process). I then wedge the soft clay, turning it over 400 times to give it homogenity and to ensure as few air bubbles as possible are contained within the clay. I then throw the piece, let it dry out, then when it is optimally leather hard, turn the the footring. The piece is then allowed to dry out completely then I have given it several coastings of terra siigillata(aka samain ware) to produce the burnish/shine!!! The piece is then bisque fired in an electric kiln to a 1000 degree C. The final surface finsih for this piece was in a dustbin sawdust firing where I wrapped the bowl in garden rubbish and also some bladderwrack sea weed which I collected from Stonehouse Creek Plymouth, just outside my workshop. .This is an abundantly available material. It was all packed down in the dustbin in sawdust which was set alight an took 24 hours to smoulder/burn down! This bowl was the result.
At the same time I have done some pit firings.