Friday, February 25, 2011

Backyard clay

I had to dig a few holes in my backyard to put up a shade cloth frame over my bonsai shelves. The top soil layer was quite thin and underneath I found a very fine and pure brown clay. This is Wianamatta Shale clay characteristic to Sydney’s Cumberland Plain. I saved a small lump and used it to make a tea bowl shown in the picture. The shrinkage was nearly 30%, so the bowl turned out to be smaller than I expected. I fired it to earthenware temperature with clear glaze to preserve the original colour of the clay. The result was beautiful and quite similar to red raku ware (aka raku yaki). It also would have been not unlike the red clay ware (shudei) of Tokoname if it was burnished and not glazed.

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