Friday, August 28, 2009

Pretty Terracotta

Terracotta when fired

One of the best aspects of living in an Italian family IS the family. There are so many family members in our family that you don't just have one great friend, you have MANY and over the years I have grown very close to my nieces Madeline and Christina. Both are teenagers now. Full of laughter and fun. My niece Madeline loves horses. She rides every day and ever since she found me pounding down "wild" clay for production she has been fascinated. I guess you could say she has been on a personal mission to find me some clay on the beach where she rides.

Clay patties waiting to be processed

Well, last week she DID find clay on the beach and I could tell, when she retold the story of finding it and gathering it, that she had the "wild" look in her eye. She was just as excited as I was and couldn't wait for me to use it. This week, in between many other projects, I have been working the clay. Pounding it down first, then pulverizing it into a fine powder and running it through a sieve to remove rocks. Then, adding water into it again to make it clay.

I fired the first test pieces last night and at cone 04 it wasn't hot enough. This morning I pumped up the small test kiln to 2000 degrees and found our new "wild beach clay" finished. It's a truly beautiful shade of terracotta. Tough as nails and I think it may actually withstand the thermal shock of raku. raku in the rain or not to raku in the rain. Main question today. If the rain stops for just 20 minutes......

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