Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A Taste of North Cackalacka

I've had a pair of bags of North Carolina clay that have been in storage until today. They date back to my trip to Penland back in the Spring of ought eight. Upon leaving Penland, I packed up my poor little corolla with loads of pots and clay full of ideas and enthusiasm for making pots from the "wild" clays from the workshop. Now I'm finally getting around to doing that. I cannot wait until it's dry enough to become pottery. I remember using commercially produced clay for the first time after the Penland workshop in which we used mostly dug clay. The clay from the box seemed so sticky and tight. The slipcast clay that was being used where I worked felt closer to wax then clay. I was surprised that the difference felt so stark.
Well now that I'm again aclimated back on the clay from a box, it's time whet my appetite for that southern clay. I mixed up a small batch with some Mitchfield, Cameron, OM#4 ball clay, a little local earthenware for iron and a dash of feldspar.

The bag of Mitchfield or Aumond Pond clay I have is full of some serious quartz rocks. Here's what I screened out.
The clay mixing was my morning and in the afternoon, I made a couple of sectional vases. It took me a long time to make these. I'm finding that I'm a pretty slow thrower compared with most potters I know. Yesterday I made 43 pots, I pretty damned good day for me. In less time then that took me, Malcolm made 98. Alas, he's truly a master potter and I'm somewhere way below that but it's something I need to work on.

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