Sunday, July 6, 2008

New Clay and Lavender & Peach Harvest

wheelbarrow full of red haven peaches
Wheelbarrow with Red Haven Peaches
I've been harvesting my lavender and peaches here on my farm, Springville Lavender Gardens. So far I've picked 300 peaches from my one Red Haven peach tree. The tree is only 4 years old, I can't believe how many peaches it has and I thinned them too. I am planning on freezing any I don't sell. I'm also going to make a peach cobbler for a party this coming weekend. I didn't count the number of stems of lavender, but there were literally thousands.

royal purple lavender with vitex tree
Royal Purple Lavender with Vitex & Fuji apple tree
My clay hands got rusty in such a short time. I tried making a porcelain bowl a few days ago and it cracked terribly. I finally gave up and crushed it. Rather than fight the porcelain, I decided to switch to a new clay I wanted to try. Oh, I almost forgot I did succeed in making a porcelain spoon rest, but I don't like the form so I am revising it.

free form bowl with impressed leaf
Hand built 1.75" tall by 9" wide
The new clay is called Cassius Basaltic. If there were small children around, I wouldn't leave this clay out since it looks just like chocolate candy when wet. It's dark brown when green, but fires almost black. I plan on glazing with a clear to maintain the black color. The charts say this is a Cone 5/6 clay, but I have read several comments from others who recommend only firing it to Cone 4. Here are a couple of bowls make with the new clay which aren't quite leather hard yet. This clay seems to dry very slowly. I guess that's a good thing compared to the porcelain which dried too quickly. I've made several other pieces with this new clay and they are drying.

another freeform bowl impressed leaf using cassius basaltic clay
Hand built 3.75" tall by 10" wide
Hopefully in the next week or so I can make enough pieces to fill my kiln to give it a test run, but my gardening chores are taking much of my time right now. This coming week is supposed to be well over 100 F so watering may take precedence.

1 comment:

  1. I can see that you're very creative! Three of my favorite things on one page: fresh peaches, lavender, and hand made pottery...such a blessing, keep it up and I'll check back!


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