Gifted A Truck Load Of Clay

In 2012 a local potter was downsizing. She gave me enough buckets of bone-dry clay to fill the trunk of my Jetta car.

I filled the buckets with water, and let them sit for at least a month to saturate the clay.

I wedged the clay on plasterboards to realign the molecules making it pliable to use. Recycled clay is not easy to turn on the wheel, therefore I made hand-built items such as these toothbrush holders. I soon discovered the buckets had white, brown and black clay mixed together along with a few of her small pottery tools. I once accidentally tossed a rib tool in a bucket of clay so I understand.

Toothbrush Holders

I make several of these toothbrush holders and sell them on Etsy. These holders can also be used to store kitchen utensils, pens and pencils, combs or even flowers.

Two years later I used up the clay, no more buckets taking up floor space. Then another phone call. “I am getting rid of most of my clay and glazes. Bring your truck.” We filled the back of the truck with buckets and boxes of bone-dried clay, buckets of glazes and a few tools including plaster boards. I was back to cluttered floor space and adding water to buckets of clay. This time firing glaze test tiles as well.

Her teal green glaze goes great with my blue-green glaze. I especially like the way her navy blue runs down this pale blue. I am not sure if she used this combination.

Brown Clay

Eight years later, which included the death of 2 parents, cleaning out their houses, then Covid shutdown, I am down to 2 bags of clay. One is a nice brown that I am using for items, such as this toothbrush holder.

Mystery Clay, Rough Texture

I have no idea what the other bag of clay is. I thought it was porcelain. It felt smooth. The finished pottery came out with an extremely rough texture, like this vase. Do you like this rustic vase? This clay is definitely not my normal smooth pottery. I thought of throwing out this clay, then I had a great idea.

I will make a rustic outdoor planter and decorate it with mushrooms, seashells, butterflies and bees. To complete my funkiness I am going to glaze it with the glazes I rarely use. I have a metallic blue glaze which isn’t food safe. I’ll paint it around the decorations on the bottom.

Potters have a saying ‘don’t count your chickens until they are hatched’. I have no idea how it will turn out. Stay tuned for the final result.

Making A Planter

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