The pots are made with Doble’s Clay from St Agnes and nearly all are wheel thrown on a Leach kickwheel. They are usually covered with a slip, designed to react well with salt and ash in the firing and giving decorative possibilities such as sgraffito.
For my slips I use various Devon ball clays and Cornish china clay but also a local ochreous clay and river silt.
Work is glazed inside, and occasionally out, with simple wood-ash,clay and feldspar glazes. I like using local, found materials for lots of reasons above all for the unique sense of place they can give. A sort of practical geology with plenty of scope for digging and rooting about.
The kiln is fired with wood gleaned from a variety of sources – chiefly scrap pallets, reclaimed timber, hedge trimmings and sawmill off-cuts. Firing is usually about fourteen plus hours from lighting to clamming-up after reaching top temperature and soaking for about two hours. At high temperature (between cones 6 and 9) salt is introduced into the fireboxes and the resulting vapours react with the clay surface to give a thin coat of glaze. Along with fly-ash from the wood this results in a sometimes rich warm colour and texture which is however very difficult to control or predict. The rewards come with a degree of risk.