Over New Year, we were lucky enough to spend three days out on Pen Caer, where I know a ditch that I can trim to collect some clay that makes a great throwing body and fires up to 1260 degrees C. The sun shone, wind blew, rain and sleet fell – four seasons in a day – or more like in an hour……
I am enormously grateful to Alan Ault (junior) and the team at Valentine’s Clays (Stoke on Trent), for showing me around the factory and taking me through:
- the stages involved in the production of their terracotta, stoneware and porcelain clays
- the sources of their raw materials.
I am particularly interested in finding a source of clays that are local to me that I can buy commercially. This would be in addition to my practice of collecting small quantities of clay by hand for projects that explore their properties for throwing / making and glazing.