A while ago we had a go at processing our own clay. I had some from Italy, but the stuff was practically unworkable. So I tried to use it all in one go. I made a little house, and I didn’t fire it for the longest time. It seemed to be doing pretty well. However, I think its calcium content, from shells and sand, and its sodium content (from the sea) were likely quite high, as it began to crumble soon after it had been bisqued. At first I thought I had imagined it coming out unharmed, when I first saw the cracks. Then I realised it was only getting worse with time, so I decided to document the process. It was a learning experience tinged with a hint of melancholy.
The entire Flickr album can be found here.
I’m hoping I can use the resulting clay dust (I’ve since pestle-and-mortar-ed it) in a larger clay body, as grog.
It will be good to look at colour and glazes in this light as well. I’ve spoken with Meg, a second-year Ceramicist, about using coloured stones in making glazes, so now I know I have to fire them first, so that they shatter, and then I can make them into glazes. I am also exploring the idea of sourcing my own materials – I having recently obtained some Willow-wood branches from Charlotte from a tree-felling earlier this year, and some Oyster shells from Whitstable.