Monday, September 8, 2014

Clay from home.

I've started down the path of making my own clay again.
I've found some clay about 50cm down that is moist and plastic enough to roll into a ball (not damp enough to roll into a nice smooth round ball).
The photo shows this ball of clay after a ^10 ox. firing.
Today the clay I dug up was dry enough to add water to and delaminate. Tomorrow I will mix it and sieve it.
Looking forward to the next week when I get to test it on the wheel...


tielserrath said...

I've done something similar - was lucky enough to find a deep layer of clay in a paddock directly behind my pottery. (I got an excavator to remove the topsoil, which may be cheating.)

It's a bit of a long process, drying, slaking, mixing to a slurry, sieving and evaporating, but I got a nice terracotta which is very plastic indeed. Only problem is the constant cracking of thrown pieces, mostly on drying but frequently also in the kiln, no matter how slowly I dry/fire. It has been incredibly frustrating.

I've ordered some earthenware grog from Walkers' and have just thrown a set of pots at 5%, 10% and 15% addition - they're drying now (everything dries slowly in Tassie at this time of year!)

andrew widdis said...

Sounds like fun.
Cracking when drying would be sole destroying. I would not have thought of grog first off, well done.
I used to get clay by the trailer load for $20. The excavator driver would hover the very corner of the bucket? over the trailer and slightly nudge the bucket. It seemed like a little sprinkle would fall out, until it landed in the trailer with a thud and the trailer and car would bounce about with a scary jerking action.
So I have no issues with a little cheating.

Real cheating is buying brush on glaze.