May 1, 2008

Clop, Clop, Clop, Clop

After spending the morning on the phone arranging work to begin again on the new studio, I managed to spend the afternoon with my hands wrapped around some clay. Pitiful as it was in the end I had a few pots that I liked.

I also tried some of the clay straight out of the field, it was blunged but not sieved. It looked a lot like Doug's clay, maybe too chunky. I did pull a couple of rocks out, see the pot in the foreground (and log cabin, built by my neighbor Ed Murphy, in the background!).

It was interesting to work with clay that was somewhat unworkable. The clay had small, sharp quartz stones and I kept thinking that I would get cut! But the stones stayed "inside" the clay wall, with the exception of a couple, that had to be dug out, and replaced with clay. There were a couple of cracks when I ribbed and stretched the clay outward. Now I know why they call it wild clay. I was dealing with untamed clay, definitely unrefined, "oh, how rude!" Can't wait to see these pots fired.

I've also been messing around with some low fired house number tiles that I designed last summer.

I'll have to run these down to Ron's next earthenware firing. I used my red dirt for the clay body. It's actually perfect for press molded tiles. The red dirt is not that plastic and doesn't shrink too much, but is a little crumbly on its own. I will continue to experiment on amending the dirt with some finer clay to get a stronger green strength. The bone dry tiles tend to break easily in handling.

And finally this jug got a handle this afternoon after sitting under the plastic most of the week.

The pot and I both breathed a sigh of relief!

Sometimes the pottery wheel seems square...clop, clop, clop or start and stop, start and stop. I will try to regroup tomorrow and get rolling smoothly. Just in time to put my tool belt on Monday and start hammering nails...

As Winnie the Pooh would say, "Oh, bother!"