I start every day with Joe, today it was Joe Geil, the Cub Creek Studio manager. He shared some tips for how to test the clay bodies I had been digging on the trip. The method is called a button test. A small piece of the material is placed in a shallow bowl, just in case the clay melts completely in the kiln,

After that, I was shown how to make a batch of clay from a recipe. I now have approximately 250 lbs of stoneware waiting for me to figure out what it is. I still feel a little unsure about what direction to go. I guess it would be good to just start. I’m just going to start with some vessels

In the evening, the residents gathered at John’s house for his homemade lasagna and butternut squash soup. I sat with a hypnotizing book about ancient Japanese Jomon pottery. In one hand, the book, in the other hand a shard of 10,000 year old pottery. I was really interested in a possible explanation of the incredible textures they were using. It seems the wet clay was pressed into baskets for practical reasons-as waterproofing material. The baskets were eventually burned, leaving a woven texture on a fired clay vessel.

I can’t believe all of this happened on my first day in the studio.

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jomonan early Jomon pot

 

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