Potters have historically dug their own clay and used locally found materials to make their work. This gave the very distinct qualities of each country’s regional pottery. In a post Industrial Age where we buy clay out of a bag that has traveled miles from where we work and with the sharing of images across all continents instantaneously, are we losing our regional voices?
When we first started working with Brae @braerestaurant about 4 years ago we decided return to tradition and dig clay out of the dam. Much like the food at Brae, we wanted to create work that would be used only meters from the place it was dug out of the ground.
After 4 years, that range needs to be replaced. I have to admit that I’m much busier now than I was 4 years ago and have let go of some of my purists principles . I tried to ‘faux up’ the locally dug clay with a mixture of dark industrial processed clays.
What I came up with was a sorry substitute. Dan @chefdanhunter clearly saw this well before I did and hinted that now was a good time to dig clay as the dam was low. I’m glad he did. While it’s hard work, it’s a reminder that as a potter, it’s literally the raw earth, filtered and fired that we work with. Oh and it’s a childish delight to dig around in the mud getting dirty!!