We had a successful firing last week, a chance to burn out the cobwebs in the kiln and test a range of clay experiments. Rose helped out with the firing and also got some lovely pieces out. The firing took 13.5 hours and I used the new Chinese silicon carbide shelves (which worked well). It’s been great to have a studio space next to the kiln, so handy to sort out pots and equipment during the loading, out of the weather.
The clays I was testing were mixtures that included clay from here, what I call my stripe clay. It’s like a super iron rich fire clay with huge shrinkage from plastic to bone dry, but not much to 1300 degrees. It adds a lovely working quality to commercial clays, makes them a rich buff stoneware depending on the percentages and causes a whole new pallet of colour responses from my glazes and slips. But more than those technical aspects it’s about making pots that are of this place, from the land. Connections are important, to make pots that are for everyday use, to use that connection to bridge people back to the land.