Arts & Crafts Magazine

Digging for Pottery Clay

By Sarahjanemakes @xorchy

Finding your own pottery clay

Digging for pottery clay
My ceramics class and I went digging for clay.  I was surprised to find that you can harvest your own pottery clay and that there was a seam all along the east coast of Ireland.
We walked for a short while out of Greystones and down to the beach.  The clay was almost perfect directly from the cliff and all we needed to do was remove the sediment it had picked up.  I'm told that once fired it would be  a terracotta color and smooth however  I'm not sure whether the locals would be happy with art students undermining the cliff walk:)
Digging for pottery clay

Primary source -cliff clay

Clay

Digging for pottery clay


Digging for pottery clay

Digging for pottery clay

Me harvesting clay


Digging for pottery clay

Packing


Digging for pottery clay

The best way to carry it


Digging for pottery clay

Laying out the clay to be dried

Digging for pottery clay

Drying clay

After the clay has dried we sieve it to remove any sediment then mix with water and sculpt and fire.  The clay from this seam is a light terracotta when bisque fired. 
Digging for pottery clay

Digging for pottery clay


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