Monday, March 16, 2015

Pottery Tasks in March

Ken is planting seeds for greens all year, but in winter there is some time to make pottery.  A couple years back during a drought, Ken discovered clay when we had a man in to dig the irrigation pond deeper.  After prospecting for decades, there it was on our own property!  

Since then he has been running tests and tweaking the clay.  Concurrently he has been making glazes from local materials.  This year it all seems to be coming together!

One of the first steps is pugging clay. A pug mill is an auger with a vacuum pump to take out air.  This creates relatively consistent clay that needs less wedging.

Ken recently made a mountain of pugged clay and let it set to mellow and get even more consistent.  

This clay was just a bit wet

This very wet clay was set aside and it will be mixed in after it has dried a bit more.  

Ken has been making pottery all winter and this shelf is bisqued pottery for an order.  Bisque is to heat the pots to the temperature that will prevent them returning to clay - a first fire.  Ken finds this reduces breakage in the final firing and makes for lighter pottery.

Today he has been glazing pottery.  He will load and fire these pots soon

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