Maturation of Clay and the making of things

"Understanding the materials I work with... gives me a deeper understanding of my place. And it's helped me make sense of the changes that are happening to me as I grow older."
                                                                                                    ~Andy Goldsworthy

Still making bowls and glazing them simply.  I am working my way through leftover black clay I had used to make bases for some sculptural work couple of years ago. I love how it looks with just tenmoku and a light spray of RIO.  Tenmoku on this clay is so rich and active.  It fires to a lovely satin with silver streaks (doesn't show in this photo) and some rusty spots.  This same tenmoku on stoneware or porcelain is glossier with more brown highlights.  It does have a trade-off---this clay will bloat if fired too slow or too hot or too long. The only understanding we have is this--I will program the kiln appropriately, cross my fingers and hope.  Reflecting my own maturation as a maker of clay things.


  1. Love your simple bowls and tenmoku is one of my favorite glazes. I used to glaze some of my bowls with tenmoku on the outside with a beautiful light green on the inside. I have not worked with a black clay - would be nice to be able to hold that bowl . . .
    And yes one can only hope -even with all the skills of maturation with the materials - hope is needed while firing!

  2. Yes, that must be a beautiful combo. I also love oribe. This clay is a wonder to throw, but the firing is where some problems can show.

  3. Would you pleeeeease upload a photo to show us the sliver streaks! : )


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