The Creative Sparks project involves making a piece that will engage people over an evening that coincides with the opening of the new Commons building. Our theme is water – and specifically, the relationship between water and clay…. and utility…. and life, expressed rather clumsily here as three haiku pieces. Earth and water merge Particles and molecules Soft and malleable Fire drives them apart Forever ceramic now Platelets, melted…fused Water no longer Within but without, only Held when whole – unbroken. I wanted to check who long a raw clay vessel would take to break down as part of this piece……!
I am really please that the work I have been doing with Michie Lyne for the Creative Sparks project seems to be on course for the event in two weeks time linked to the opening of the new Commons building at Newton Park Campus. The pieces are coming together well along with test firings of clay samples as slips and glazes…. Just as with the Clee Hill clay, all the samples have been dried, slaked, sieved, and then either tested as slip or dried and broken into “biscuit” for storage. I am using cylinders cut into quarters for testing slips and glazes on the advice of Luke Haslam-Jones.
Click here to see Michie’s photographs from the field trip…
Following the trip to Clee Hill, I have since dried, broken up, slaked and sieved the raw clay (through a 60 sieve). The result was a beautiful pond of yellow slip (see below), but the results were incredibly tacky and whilst highly plastic, impossible to work with for building / throwing. I then re-sieved the residue through a wire cooking sieve to remove the larger stones and organic debris and added the coarser slip to the earlier sieved clay (c 30%-70%). This made a highly workable clay, which threw well – and two thrown test cylinders are going through a biscuit firing as I write. I will test the slips capacity as a glaze material this weekend in my next glaze firing.