The Great Unfired

As with any process, the more you practice, the better you become…and so it is with our ‘chimney pots’.

They are becoming more and more refined as we go along.  We have cast our first round of tests using three different recipes to see which one will work the best in terms of shrinkage

Before firing, they need to be tidied up around the edges…

Using the same three moulds for all three tests, our first batch are looking promising, although time will tell how they react when in the kiln

 

 

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The First Mix of the New Batch

Making clay is all about process, there is the breaking down and drying..

Slaking, mixing and sieving..

A repeat of certain parts of the process and then the fun bit of spreading it out for the final drying before it’s used for testing as slip…

 

 

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The Making of the First Mould

For the slip casting process a mould has to be made and for that, a shape has to be created.  Using plaster and a lathe machine we fashioned our first ‘chimney pot’ which is basic to say the least

Our plaster mix needed some refining but it proved adequate

The mould building process in progress

Although a rather cumbersome mould, it produced the first cast which we cast using white earthenware as a test as we are still working on our ‘Tottenham Clay Recipe’

 

 

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How Do You Collect Half a Ton of Clay?

As testing had only just initially started, we needed to collect more clay…this time a large quantity as it would also be the material used during our workshops and we need to ensure that we were using as close to the same batch as possible to avoid any ‘recipe’ pitfalls.

The contractors on-site at the new stadium site have been amazing and extremely helpful.  So having organised a day to collect and enlisting the help of a friend with a van, the big pick-up began…

After several trips and a bit of a strain on both vehicles suspension (and our own!), we managed to get all of the clay back to university and off-loaded

IMG_5357And so the real work begins…

 

 

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Tottenham Clay

Craft is all about the process and by inviting the community to get involved, we hope to break down the idea that it is something that only artists and crafts people can do.  Although some elements will have already been undertaken, the majority of the process will be shown to highlight the journey from beginning to end result

Having made initial tests with a small amount of the clay sourced from the new White Hart Lane stadium site, we discovered that it did not like certain temperatures, definitely liked to shrink and changed colour accordingly!

A few before and after shots of colour…

 

 

Proudly sponsored by Tottenham Hotspur Football Club & Middlesex University

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