Friday, September 5, 2008

mud bowls

WOW. This clay was still really really wet (probably too wet to through, really). And really, really messy. I didn't want to wedge the clay (which would have dried it out a bit more) on my canvas boards because my usual clay body is white and I didn't want to risk staining the boards or future projects. My ususal is also really fine-grained; it feels a bit like handling cream cheese (people also describe porcelain clay as feeling this way). This raw clay has a lot of sand incorporated in, so throwing with it felt really different. I thew thickly and slowly- but my first few attempts collapsed when I pushed the clay too far. My fingernails got shredded (they were a bit too long for throwing anyway), but thankfully my skin didn't.

These two bowls are maybe 8" in diameter and 3" tall. I checked them this morning and they were too wet to trim (but it's been rainy all week, so everything is drying more slowly). I've never used clay this dark- I've used terra cotta before (that is REALLY rough on your skin) and we all know how terra cotta pots look when fired, but I have no idea what will happen with these. I don't know if the color will fire out (most clays change color when fired), or if the clay will even go up to cone 6 (+/-2200 degrees), because some low fire (1800 degrees, not as durable, prone to chipping/flaking) clays will melt at that temperature. I have several more pounds of the clay, so I think I'm going to make several smaller pieces to test with clear glazes at low and high ranges so that I don't inadvertently destroy these two larger pieces.

I tell you, I haven't felt this excited about pottery in quite a while. I love what I do, I love my functional pieces and the style I've developed with them, but it is fun to experiment with something that is unpredictable.

Happy weekend, everyone!


Leila said...

That is so cool! Good luck. I'll be watching excitedly for the result. Back when I did pottery years ago I always thought it would be fun to find some clay and use it rather than buying it. How fun!

amy h said...

Fun! I can't wait to see how they fire.

Sarah-potterknitter said...

I'd test a small piece on a plate at cone 6 before I fired a whole bowl. Some low fired clays could be a puddle!

TD wool design said...

can't wait to see the results. i think experimentation is a wonderful thing! good luck with it all.