Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Direct from the source

This month I've been digging clay from behind the barn about 30 meters away where I have the wheels set up. The clay is quite sandy and a bit short (not very plastic) so its been a challenge to throw and hard to get a good pull out of a coil slowing down progress some. I could mix in some ball clay and maybe a little bentonite but the challenge was to make a large pot straight outta the ground, little bits of grit and stone and other impurities left in to give a natural texture that will blend in well with the local environment.

Clay in its natural state, simply crush and add water. Just have to be careful I don't end up with 10 bags of river silt!

Two good sized terracotta pots based on Mediterranean olive jars

A nice fat rim and a triple coil lug as a finishing touch

Another great way to warm up and also a fun way to kill some time between coils - jungle drums.
Now its time to get into a rhythm of making more big pots and the challange of firing these can be an art in itself. The secret is long and slow.