Thanks for popping in today. Having a day off, and spending it with my dear friend Anita, so am off the Clarity radar for a day. A pamper day at the Spa Hotel! Wowee! It’s not something I do, if you know what I mean, but the kind team at work gave me a voucher for my birthday, so I’m doin’ it! And Neet loves all that hot pebbles and massage stuff, so I thought I’d treat her for her birthday! At least I’ll be in good company whilst being tortured!
Before we head off for the day, let me tell you about my pot. My lovely coil pot. You know the one. The one that took 3 weeks. The one I laboured over and came to love. The one I painstakingly rolled out endless sausages of cranky clay for. The one I rubbed with the back of a spoon for an entire afternoon. The one I used our paper die cut on…
You know the expression, the best laid plans?
I had this plan, to paint it with black slip (coloured diluted clay), which I did.
Then peel off the masks and fire it to a bisque state, ready to have its matte white glaze applied all over, and go back in the kiln a second time. This was going to give a beautiful grey/blue finish.
Well. You can imagine my face when I skipped into the studio on Wednesday, all fired up (excuse the pun) to see how the pot had come out, and ready to apply the glaze. Eunice the teacher smiled at me, but I instantly knew something had gone Pete Tong. Wong. She proceeded to tell me that it had only ever happened to her once before, in the 300 years she’s been working with clay. I instantly put on my “It was only a pot hat” and braced myself.
“The bloody kiln didn’t switch off. It increased the temperature and kept baking through the night.”
Gutted. That just about takes the bisquit.
“Did it explode? Or crack?” I asked.
“Oh no! Not at all! It has just reach a state of petrification where it can no longer take glaze.”
Not terminal then. Just petrified.
“It is wonderful,” Eunice went on. “It is what we called Naked Clay. That is a whole other artform” And she ran to show me a book of Naked Clay Art. Very nice.
Where’s me naked clay pot then?
“It was a centrepiece at the exhibition and sale we had last week. Everybody was admiring it.”
Ok Ok. You have talked me in off the ledge. Now let’s see this naked clay creation….
Eunice disappeared for a moment and then presented me with this:
It actually is really beautiful. Totally different to what I had in mind. But actually better. it feels like a real antique kind of earthy thing. What you might find in an archeological dig.
It’s much smaller than it was. Shrank by 20% in fact. But who cares. I love it!
I couldn’t wait to get home and show Dave. It was suggested to me that I put it back in the oven to heat it again (as if the poor thing hasn’t had enough heat!) and apply beeswax. This I duly did, and the result was superb. When I buffed it up with a brush, it took on a really lovely sheen. See?
It has its own spot in the kitchen, so I can enjoy it every time I make a brew – which is regularly!
This weekend, I shall go for a walk and pick some dry grasses and reeds. I think a few stems of honesty will look perfect.
So you see, on the predictable – unpredictable scale, pottery is definitely NOT predictable. Maybe that’s why it excites me. I am going to investigate naked clay further this weekend. Just see whether this could ever be replicated. Not that I want to. Just intrigues me.
And now I am off to spend a day with my friend. We went to school together. Been buddies since we were 11 years old! Blimey that’s nearly 50 years! Half a century!
Love & Hugs,