Saturday, June 1, 2013

Primitive Pottery Workshop

Antonia gave a primitive pottery workshop this past month that was very successful.  It really got Will and I excited about working with clay again.  One of the pots I made was from some of the local clay we dug and it fired beautifully. Antonia helped me understand what qualities I was looking for in dug clay and had me wet it overnight then wedge it and form a bowl.  I used a small glass ball for the mold and the clay was about 1/4" thick throughout.  Dried it all day, wetting the rim until it was time to go dig the pit for firing!  The lighter bowl was formed over a soccer ball (thanks to Ty) and the bowl retained the honey comb pattern from the ball.  I decided to leave that and work with the design.  It was hard to bring myself to paint the bowl with the yucca paint brush I'd made using slip...but finally did and and I'm so glad I did!  The pattern is rather uneven, but I promise I will get more steady as time goes on.  This brings a totally new respect for the ancient pottery shards we find around us here from the Mimbres Indians.  Their work is perfect!

A new friend Ryan, a CDT hiker, happened to come on the pit firing day and enjoyed our little community gathering and helped dig the pit and gather wood.  All it all it was a great experience.

Needless to say this has gotten me going with clay and needing a place for the kick wheel, Will has gotten busy with my studio porch.  We'll have the wheel protected but out under the porch to work.  And I found a little kiln!!!  I'm not going to be able to do too much pit firing, it's a lot of intense work!

Local Clay 
Soccer Ball molded bowl with yucca brush painting 
Fire cloud from the pit firing shows the rust from the iron in the flagstone we lined the sides of the pit with 
Will's hand shows the size of the bowl

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