New Clay and New Possibilities

The past two weeks have been very busy in terms of school, so I haven’t been able to do as much pottery as I want. However, I have a new type of clay, which is very exciting because it means I get to experiment with new colors of clay, firing temperatures, and glazes.

This week I visited Claymakers, which is the local pottery shop in Durham. They offer pottery classes and have a wide selection of pottery materials such as clay, glazes, and tools for sale. Normally, I use their “red stone” clay because it fires at a higher temperature which is good for functional pottery (meaning mugs, plates, vases). I like that it is a deep red color because it makes glazes appear bolder and richer and I like the effect that it gives. When I ran out of this clay, I started using a white earthenware clay, that we have at my school. It is relatively easy to throw with but it is more porous and cracks easily. When I went to Claymakers this week to restock on the red stone clay that I like to use, they did not have it in stock so I opted for “brown stone” instead. This clay has similar properties to the red stone and it fires at the same temperature, the only difference is that it is less red and more of a brown color. This will mean that the glazes will look slightly different when fired. This actually ended up working out well because I now have three different types of clay to experiment with and more possibilities to look forward to. I will start glazing in about two weeks and that’s when I will update on the glazing process. The pieces I have thrown so far have been bisque fired which is the first firing that turns the clay into essentially a rock, so it is now ready for glazing.

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