Friday, 28 November 2008

tian bao clay process.

As soon as I asked one of the workers if we could see the clay process he just pointed across the road toward the rice field and jumbled out some fast chinese to James.  Next thing ya know we are walking through this beautiful part of rural china.  Lots of rice ,as you can see, along the way to the clay pit. 
And here is a picture of the clay digging site.  Evidently they use loads of clay here, but I can tell you that this whole bottom is full of this amazing clay so there is plenty more awaiting use.  I absolutely LOVE digging and using local clays.  The smell, the feeling, and just knowing you are doing it the same way that the neolithic did it so many years ago.
This is a closeup of some of the beautiful grey seam along with a small piece of my shoe.  
This is the building where they take the clay to be processed.  Notice the tiles and piece of old broken jar on the very top.

this is a homemade pugmill where they do some de airing and mixing before use in the shop. Pretty sweet setup if you ask me.

3 comments:

doug fitch said...

Cool, did they just dig it and then pug it or did they slip it down and sieve it?

June said...

Very interesting.

Brad Lail said...

They just dig it and pug it. The area it comes from is a bottom with hardly any roots so they don't really need to pick much out. You often find marble sized rocks in the body so I am sure they don't sieve it at all. It is a great hand building body, but is very non plastic (like many hand dug clays that need a little extra to throw well) so it is a bit of a challenge to throw.