Bits n’ Pieces

It has been a while since I posted. I have been busy making the next kiln full of pots. It has also been very busy digging and processing clay. We are trying to switch over to all native clays. This area is blessed with some mighty fine stoneware clays which is why the Old Edgefield District potteries were located here ( link). I’ve fired numerous samples and have found two that work well.

Digging some good stoneware clay

The other day had me checking for some clay deposits along the fall line. I became distracted by this old shack that had collapsed in a remote area. I went to look at the old foundation and was standing there taking it all in when I heard this Z-Z-Z-Z-Z-ZZZZZ noise. I focused for less than a second before my body was airborne, realizing that a HUGE canebreak rattlesnake was about to send me to my reward! This animal obviously knows where the good clay is found, heh-heh! Thankfully, it was a cold morning and he was a bit sluggish and therefore decided to let foolish me live a bit longer.

There’s plenty of clay! Gene loads balls of clay (left). And here’s some “Sweet Georgia Brown” mixed into a slurry and ready to dry out some.

At any rate, the clays are looking promising and I’m already turning some pieces out of it. I thought I’d put a few photos up of some pots from the last few firings. All are ash glazed. My next firing should be in another 1-2 weeks and the wood has been cut and laid in. I was lucky enough to have come across a large batch of 100 year old heart pine scraps to burn so it should be a hot fire, if nothing else.

If you are new to collecting southern pottery or would like to learn more about this fascinating art form, follow this link.

This is the mark I stamp most work with

A slip decorated storage jar
This pitcher shows some profound coloring due to the mineral rutile being present in the glaze. The side facing the fire is almost blue.

A milk pan
Lidded storage jar or ginger jar
Jug with a few ash runs
Iron slip decoration
Candle holder with blue rutile markings

6 thoughts on “Bits n’ Pieces

  1. slaghammer

    Man, you are a hard-core potter. Any likelihood that I would dig my own clay vanished along with the disks in my spine years ago. There’s a lot of soul in your handiwork and the glaze is right on.

  2. madpotter

    Thanks for the compliment, Slaghammer! I’m falling apart, too. This is a real labor intensive, physical method of creating pottery. I do get energized by taking the whole process of making pottery back to the least common denominator, or to its simpleist form. I love the connection with all of the Earth elements, water, fire, clay, wind, wood or trees. The process is so alive with the smells of damp earth, sappy wood and smoke.I don’t shoot for any color in the glaze. I simply mix ashes from the kiln with sand, clay and water, dip the raw pots in it and hope and pray they get shiny. As you might imagine, a lot of pieces are lost. Sometimes, everything.I’m self-taught, having attended that school of trial and failure. I’m glad that the love and effort show through in the form of soul in my pottery. I take that as the supreme compliment!

  3. madpotter

    Thanks Irene! You’re a real sweetheart! It’s hard work but I love the whole process. It means a lot to be able to create something that moves another’s emotions.

  4. Anne

    I love your pottery, both the cute and the useful things. Wonderful. Especially the pitcher, the shape is so perfect I just want to touch it! 🙂 Thanks for your really interesting comments on my blog the other day. Sorry it took me so long to get back to you, I’m having some computer issues lately.


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