But clay poses a different problem. For the last six years, I've used a deep brown clay body called Black Mountain. I love the way it fires to a chocolate brown color. But just as all things must change, I've started mixing some new glazes, and the bottom line is - the glazes I like simply look better on a lighter clay. I'm switching to a buff stoneware called Long Beach, which I've thoroughly tested and find works perfectly for my glaze palette.
Now many potters switch back and forth, but to me - it's a hassle. That means I have to clean everything from my canvas mats to my throwing tools, to my wheel. And since there is such a drastic color difference in the two clays I use, the slightest cross contamination really pops out.
So it's with some sadness that I used the very last of my Black Mountain clay this week. I've probably gone through several thousand pounds of it; not much by most potter's standards, but for me, that's a fair amount. I threw three pieces - two small pitchers and a tumbler, on the wheel, as my final farewell.
And now the changeover begins! Time to pack away all the old glaze tests, using that clay body.
A clean wheel!
And clean tools!
The plaster molds needed a little scrubbing and organization.
And the glaze area needed some straightening out. There were all sorts of slips and unlabeled mixtures, all of which went into the trash.
As long as I've giving you a tour of my clay studio, here's something that most people ask about when visiting. Call me silly, but I save my cone packs. I just think they look cool.
And finally, my current sketch wall. Whenever I'm working on a project, I sketch it in full-size, or print it with my computer. At times, the wall can be crowded with dozens of drawings, but right now - the the new clay being introduced - most of the older drawings have been retired, and new ones are being added daily.
Hope you enjoyed the little tour!