In order to make life more difficult for ourselves we have always dug clay and mixed it into a throwing body for our pots.This is Arthur digging clay on a farm about 15km from our pottery.  The clay deposit is under about two feet of unusable soil but at this place the clay has been exposed at the edge of a small dam. The clay as dug is mixed into a slip and sieved to remove coarse silica sand.  Silica and felspar are added to the slip and the mixture is dewatered to pugging consistency in brick drying trays.

From early 1977 until we started making anagama pots in late 1995 we used this clay exclusively.  We still use it for salted pots. We feel that the iron content of 2% is too high for anagama pots so we reluctantly mix it with a commercial white firing clay.  A few pots made entirely from the local body go into each anagama firing and the odd one gets the right conditions and turns out well, in a dark sort of way. We will persist with these pots as we still find the idea of making pots entirely from local materials fundamentally appealing. 

Below: a concession to advancing years and the availability of useful machinery

28Kb image of Arthur digging clay