At the end of the year, after the dust from the shows and the holidays settled, I decided it was time to bring a new clay into the studio – something that was brighter, cheerier, smoother, whiter than my old clay.
The problem I wanted to solve is that my regular clay contains a fair amount of iron, which, when heavily reduced in the glaze firing not only muddies the glazes, but also fluxes them so they are too juicy, flowing off the pots and smearing my painting.
In comes trial clay number one, then number two, until I have now tried out four new clays. They are all lovely until it comes time to dry or fire the pots – then all hell breaks loose. They separate, they crack, split, and bloat (blisters in the wall of the finished pot.)
So, this potter has looked at greener grass, tested foreign waters, fell for glitter and turned away from an old friend only to find that there are good reasons to trust what works, and go with what you know. I LOVE my old clay!