(1) Iron as a colorant. This has the widest color range. Opaque matt or bright translucent pale blues. Chun blues. Celadon greens. Tea dust greens. Yellow ochre yellows. Calcium/Iron reaction yellows. Pale rice hull yellow-buffs. Firey Oranges. Terra cotta orange. Shino pinks. Iron Reds. Brick reds. Chocolate browns. Black. What did I forget? Avoids use of heavy metals or toxic metals as colorants.
(2) Shards or sherds from discarded, fired pots. These can be used as mosaic, or as gravel.
(3) Dipping and pouring as a means of glazing. This eliminates the over spray later needed disposal or recycling.
(4) Grabbing a shovel and digging clay from backyard. Can be added for it's color as a controlled percentage in the slurry stage of clay-making process. No carbon foot print of moist clay shipping.
(5) Mystery Glaze. This can be tweaked and tested over many firings. Utilizes waste glaze. Typically Mystery Glaze becomes a black glaze, but if the potter tests base glazes without colorants first, then there is a plentiful supply of white and pale glazes for the mix.
(6) Water comes into the studio but does not flow out. All water is used as glaze water or as slop. Slop bucket at potters wheel is recycled back as "starter" when clay-making.
(7) Clay making method is now foot-wedging. This makes as much clay as fast as a small electric powered clay mixer can. Slop gets utilized as does dry recycled clay, crushed, slaked, blunged. Feldspar is added, with some clay, in the slop stage, then added to the dry clay & grog and foot-wedged.
(8) The use of open-bodied stoneware makes recycling at all stages much easier. When clay is then recycled, it achieves a uniform moisture and consistency almost by itself. Medium or fine grog, and sand about 100-200 mesh can be added, as well as coarse clays like kaolin or fireclay.
(9) Whether clay is wet-mixed or dry-mixed or a combination of the two processes, Japanese chrysanthemum wedging is preferred as it de-airs the clay, making use of the de-airing pug-mill unnecessary.
(10) Oxidation or neutral firing, most of the time. Potters face an inevitable time frame on this one. Wish I had more to say about it. I know of one kiln design that fired reduction in the first chamber and oxidation in the second chamber, I am wondering if this would help in terms of air quality at the flue?
(11) wish list: kick-wheel, wind power option on my electric. Not available in this area with mega-corporation power company.
(12) desire to make a few good pots. Work when inspired. The world doesn't need my more mediocre products anyway.
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