April 29, 2008

Where I've Been Today, Etc.

I had a nice breakfast with fellow potter and neighbor Terry Gess and enjoyed some chicory coffee and apple fritters, yum. Then I took these pictures for Lyndsey who inquired about processing local clay. They are shots of the drying racks without sheets and slip and with slip drying in the brilliant sunshine today. I've mixed up about 800 lbs of dirt in the last week or so.

Here we see my pots set up as farm stand for the masses to come and buy them, priced and ready to go.

Then it was off to the shop to cut feet on some plates.

The plate on the left is made with my regular clay body. The one on the right is made from the mud I spread on the kiln door during the firing to fill gaps in the door. My door mud is essentially 50 sand and 50 fireclay. I was thinking about what Doug said in his Slipware Blog about grit and course material in the clay he uses. Then I thought of my mud reclaim. Maybe not exactly what Doug was talking about, but...

The sandy plate was a bit harder to smooth the foot ring as I did on the left. The rims of these plates are cut with a cheese cutter (free hand/eyeballed). If I used the clay with sand I would have to have a lot of spare cutting tools since the sand was grinding away at the metal pretty substantially. But I like the feel of this mud quite a bit. Maybe I will do some tests with less sand. The sand is from the feldspar company and has a bit of spar in it I suppose.

It's gotten cool tonight with a chance of frost in the early a.m. so I covered our apple tree with a tarp. In an ongoing battle against the elements and deer we hope to get some apples this year. It's looking good so far. Until next time...