Wednesday, July 18, 2012

yay for test tiles!

It's been almost a week since I've arrived here at the Sonoma Community Center.  It's been good so far.  A couple days ago I took a drive to the East Bay in Richmond to buy some clay.  Mike at East Bay Clay has been making clay for years and years.  He's a nice guy.  Tall, looks like a viking, covered in clay dust..and in a way, when I saw him, reminded me of Neely- like if Neely were a hippy instead...and had way more hair.  ha!  Anyways, I had a wad of cash and bought 250 lbs. of clay- the Boxcar porcelain, which I used way back in the day while I was in Community College.  It's such a wonderful porcelain, it fires white, looks good in an atmospheric firing and throws like a dream.  It's only been a few days and I'm half way through it...  I'm going to have to pace myself.

As some of you probably know, with new clay comes new tests..and before I could feel good about the slips I normally use, tried and tested on a different clay body, I had, HAD! to see if it still worked with this new clay body.  So I did a few tests.  Results are good at cone 10 and I'm confident to roll right along like normal.  

I have a good group of pots made already..and as I speak, plates and platters are drying slowly.

And just for fun, I brought along some clay from Montana.  A few days before I started my drive out West... I went for a quick camping trip with my brother-in-law, Matt, his boy, Clayton, and our dear friend, Scott.  Scott took us out to a most beautiful place along the Ruby River.  On our way back home we took the "scenic" route along a mountain ridge around 10,000 feet.  I kept spying clay everywhere and finally got out to grab some.  I have it with me and am happy to say it...mostly... sits up to cone 10, at least it didn't completely melt.  I've made a terra-sig out of it..and I have high hopes it will provide all those low-fire freaks around Montana a beautiful low-fire sig.  Or, mixed with a few additions....  it could be a really wonderful clay for the wood-kiln.  I named it, Black Butte, since that's where it came from.  The clay is extremely fine and is packed with iron. I'll continue to to do some tests and figure it out... you know, just for fun.

That's why we do this, right?  for the fun of it.

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