I had some dried out clay and thought it was a tan mid-fire clay. Nope. It’s Laguna’s chocolate clay. I don’t care for this clay. It’s finicky, any temp higher than ^6 results in the piece shattering. The only way I have found to use this clay is to mix it with another clay. I saw that the Laguna chocolate clay is a different color than New Mexico Clay chocolate clay. I squished both clays together, did only a bit of mixing, and proceeded to build a couple mugs. I didn’t have time to put on handles when I got done, so I put plastic bags over the mugs. This technique works well; the mugs are just the right degree of dry for attaching handles the next morning. Until some critter thinks mugs are either edible or toys. One mug was laying on its side relatively undamaged. The other mug was flat on one side. When I unwrapped the plastic from that mug, I saw that whatever critter came by tore the plastic bag in several places, and left poke holes in the mug. I put handles on the mugs. I figured the Deb & Critter collaboration could live as it was.
I haven’t been able to figure out what sort of critter tried to be an artist.
As you can see, the swirl experiment isn’t working well. There may be some color differences that will be visible after glaze firing, but I’m not counting on that.
For my next swirl experiment, I mixed chocolate clay with white stoneware. Visions of chocolate swirled milk glass danced in my head.
See all the nice white swirls? Me neither.
Next experiment featured pinch pots.
These have a hint of swirl, but not what I was expecting.
I assumed that the lack of white showing was because I didn’t use enough white clay. I added more white clay before starting to build another mug this morning. No photos of that mug yet, but it looks a whole lot like the one above the pinch pots.
To give you an idea of the size of the pinch pots….
I use the textured part of the handle of a needle tool to measure how high to make my mugs.
There was one nice surprise this morning.
The first zinnia of the summer.