The Process

harvesting local clay

"Harvesting local clay"

Craig and David are digging raw clay from Paddy′s Brook at the edge of King′s Point, here in the Green Bay, Central NL. Fortunately we only process relatively small quantities at a time of this low temperature clay for glaze work because it sure would be physically daunting if one used it for throwing! Photo: Linda Yates.

"Wild glaze materials"

Wild glaze materials

Six different local rocks and minerals are processed to varying degrees to be used in our unique glaze combinations.
From left to right
a.) Rattling Brook Granite with natural copper,
b.) Gold bearing pyrite crystals from Nugget Pond Gold Mine,
c.) Beothuck Red Ochre from Red Indian Lake, Buchans ,
d.) Norm Peters Virginite Rock, 411 hwy,
e.) High Grade Chert, Mansfield Point, SW Arm Green Bay,
f.) Local Paddy′s Brook Clay, King′s Point, Green Bay.
Photo: Linda Yates

Wild Organic Glaze Materials

"Wild Organic Glaze Materials"

Our "kiln dried" horsetail plants are shown hanging all over the kiln room. Local flora in various soil areas absorb different minerals over their lifetime. It is a huge effort to collect and dry the flora, let alone process it into a usable form and experiment with it. Photo: Linda Yates.

"Smells exactly like "grass" man and I mean exactly"

Experimenting can be fun but it′s more than a bit nerve racking when the flora you are burning smells just like a controlled substance! Not to mention that a hundred pounds of heavy wood yields only one pound of ash... this horsetail was already some light to start with! (David, Leslie, Peter are monitoring the processing of the glaze materials and Cal is hidden in the smoke.) Photo: Linda Yates

Wild Organic Glaze Materials

"Linda throwing a slut"

Linda is coil throwing with paperclay a 24" ht. slut form. Here in Newfoundland a "slut" is the local name for the iconic woods workers tin kettle. The tin kettle is still used today by most families when going into the woods to have a "boil up", a meal by the campfire. Photo: David Hayashida.

"David painting fish"

David is drawing cod fish onto the side of the biscuit fired slut that Linda finished. This piece was created for the Gala Show held by the Craft Council of Newfoundland & Labrador and was subsequently purchased by the Art Gallery of Newfoundland & Labrador for their permanent collection. For an image of the completed work, pls see image 14 of the Salt/soda gallery page. Photo: Linda Yates

Wild Organic Glaze Materials

"Drying greenware baskets"

These pieces are sitting up side down for more even drying. Linda has just finished decorating the pieces with assorted coloured slips. And using various local materials to texture and brush the work. Ie animal hair, shell, crab claw tools. Photo: Linda Yates

"Firing the salt/soda kiln"

Linda & David are shown spraying liquid salt/soda into the 2300 f kiln and in between the two images is a view of draw rings in the kiln and of them being pulled out to measure the build up over the course of the spraying phase. Photo: David Tilley

Wild Organic Glaze Materials

"Tracy feeding the "wraps" into the kiln"

Our apprentice Tracy Keats is adding to the reduction and ash build up by placing 40 newspaper wraps of juniper wood shavings into the kiln at 2300 f. Photo: Linda Yates

"Before" the salt/soda firing

It is a small soft brick kiln and doesn′t fit a lot of work per firing. Photo: Linda Yates

"After" the salt/soda firing

Because it is such a small kiln, we get to do more experimenting more often. We typically try to do the most of our work with just slips and naked clay rather than glazes for the exterior of the pots because this allows the kiln plenty of opportunity to have its say in the very unpredictable final outcomes for the firing. Photo: Linda Yates

Wild Organic Glaze Materials

"Sardine pack"

We like to pack very-very tightly to fit in the maximum number of pieces into a small space but even more so to create flashing/shadow opportunities in our salt/soda firings.
Photo: Linda Yates

"Salt fish Plate stack"

This is as close as we have gotten to tumble stack so far. (Not willing to risk it all just yet.) The tripod approach meant that no matter how much the individual plates deformed the plate would always sit flat on the table. Some did indeed get very twisty. We strategically placed the wads on the eyes of the three fish painted on the plates below, so there was an overall logic to the wadding marks. Photo: Linda Yates

Wild Organic Glaze Materials

"Working with the kiln"

like most vapour glaze potters we noticed that some of the best surfaces were happening on what was the bottom of the pot. We needed to move these dynamic patterns to the top surfaces. One way was to wad the pot up side down but another was to clam the pot with another to simulate the tight surfaces found at the base of pots. It worked and we continue to look for new ways to hear the voices of the clays , slips, glazes, kiln…what each have to say to us. For us, being a potter is being one equal voice of a huge choir and it is an exciting , experimental & endless journey. Photo: Linda Yates

"Pouring it on"

Just one shelf of saucy boats gives up food for thought for many more firings.
Photo: Linda Yates

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