Saturday, 18 April 2015

Wild pottery

Well what a day.  Spent the day at Dernwood make pots from clay dug up this morning.  Spectacular setting, weather superb and loved the pure minimalist nature of making a pot using ones hands alone. Not a throwing wheel in site.

The day started with digging up clay in the woods then taking a silent walk through the woods to the camp area.  Here we watched ruby light the fire, using traditional fire lighting skills.  We looked at some designs of previous pots made, before going on to making our grog for adding to the clay.  Grog is used to help prevent thermal shock as the clay is fired quickly in an open fire.  

Lunch time where we ate and shared some food and discussed the dawning of civilisation, cave paintings, anthropology and more.  I took a stroll through these beautiful woods and made a mental note of the trees, the  light and feeling to try and capture in a drawing later on.  Here is the result.

I over worked it and it has come out too dark, but hey I haven't done a drawing from memory before.

The afternoon led to finishing the prep of the clay and making sure the spread of clay and grog was even.  And the making began.  A globe pot, a pinch pot and a oil lamp later and it was time to leave.

It is difficult clay to work with as it cracks a lot so there needs to be a level of spontaneity to each piece, over working makes the clay dry out and crack.  We shall see how well I have done tomorrow as the test of the fire will leave no weakness in unexposed.

Here are our finished pieces and roll on tomorrow.

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