Brothers Campfire Potter’s Field Discovery

Hello, Benjamin from Brother’s Campfire here!

A while back we went to a nearby creek and collected clay to experiment with.

Unfortunately, I lost all the documentation of it, but here is the process in a nutshell:

1. Mix clay material in a bucket of water until the water is cloudy.

2. Pour the cloudy water into another bucket and let the clay settle at the bottom. Pour off excess water.

3. Repeat until you have the amount you want to work with.

4. Pour the clay water through a sheet and let it dry to a workable consistency.

After processing, we made almost 10 pounds of clay and tried our hand at making some small dishes. We also tried to make one of those faces you affix to a tree, but it cracked while drying.

I have been told that you need a kiln to fire pottery, so all of history is tough out of luck.

History didn’t happen because industrial kilns were not invented.

There are all sorts of things I have been told, and sometimes you just have to see for yourself. I started a fire.

Almost immediately, the cup I made broke into a lot of pieces. My Beloved’s did not. She has a few classes under her belt. I increased the temperature by adding more fuel.

After the fire died down, I fished out the pieces of clay that I hoped had fired.

Clay in it’s natural form contains silica and alumina and suspends easily in water due to the small particle size. When heated to the appropriate temperature, it is no will not break down as the form has changed.

We soaked a test piece in water for about 5 minutes and it did not fall apart!

Fired clay in water

So now came the fun part. We added water to the potentially functional cup and it had a slight leak. It is notable that it took about 11 minutes to seep through the vessel without any glaze.

Here at Willow Manor, coffee is a big hit so we gave it a try despite the minor leak. It worked!

This project gave me a new understanding of Jeremiah 18.

Then I went down to the potter’s house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels. And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it. Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying, O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the LORD. Behold, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are ye in mine hand,

When I was younger, I believed that after you failed a lot perhaps God would glue the broken pieces together or if you failed big, you might be cast aside with the other failed creations.

And they took counsel, and bought with them the potter’s field, to bury strangers in.
Matthew 27:7 KJV

My failed first try

So, after doing a little research, a potters field is a place where poor people are buried and formerly a place where a potter found clay. There would have been a lot of pre dug holes, but little broken pottery.

After reaching out to a few potters, I found that the broken pottery isn’t a waste. Because it has already been fired, it doesn’t shrink when drying or when the heat comes. It can be ground up and put into new clay to strengthen it.

This was a neat discovery to me. God can rebuild from the ground up, many times if necessary, and the end result can improve with each refiring.

Author: Benjamin

Benjamin Thiel is a community leader, urban farmer, and author of The Ongoing Tale at Brothers Campfire. He might know a guy...

43 thoughts on “Brothers Campfire Potter’s Field Discovery

  1. leendadll says:

    Back when I took college art classes (early 80s), the pottery class did fire/glazing in a pit. A quick google indicated yours might have cracked because it still had moisture inside.
    Cool experiment!
    Quick glaze: thin broken glass. I used to add light bulb glass to my pieces.

      1. leendadll says:

        Broken in bits, scattered along the interior. I don’t know a product that would hold it on the sides and still burn appropriately, except glaze.

        There’s a technique for coloring the clay via newpaper and covered pit. I verified that it’s Raku. Here’s a good primer:

        1. Benjamin says:

          Bubbles, thank you for the tips! You never know where amazing ideas will come from!

    1. Benjamin says:

      I bet you could. It is super easy to aquire the materials and to fire.

      The fine-tuning is where the trouble lies.

    1. Benjamin says:

      It was. It was hard work as well! We had to carry the clay from the creek!

  2. Beverly says:

    Agreed on the analogy, it was great, on point and timely! Great job on the clay as well!

  3. MichaelStephenWills says:

    great “tip” on recycling pottery, must be a recent discovery since most ancient cities are built on piles of discarded pottery.

    1. Benjamin says:

      Thanks. “Grog” has been used as early as the bronze age for strengthening pottery. It is composed of a high percentage of fired silica and alumina.

  4. Terveen Gill says:

    Really interesting! Hope that coffee tasted great. Hard work always has a distinct taste. 🙂

    1. Benjamin says:

      Thank you! I would as well! I am trying to get an online education in it!

  5. Superduque says:

    Viruses do not fly and do not kill ,Nor do they have a life of their own in the air like birds. They do not really exist , ( Pazguatos ) (the example is that I’ve been all year and last year without muzzles, I recorded inside hospitals without muzzles, terraces bars full. Not a single visit to doctors or anything to the body that is not nature and getting better and better )
    Televisions are bought by lying
    Together with doctors, politicians, celebrities, etc.
    The body is perfect , it has its immune system .
    All psychopaths ( elites , politicians , celebrities , judges , doctors , police , street sheep etc , try to make you believe that there is something flying and create lies , set-ups in hospitals , televisions etc.
    They put chentrails , harmful food , electromagnetic waves , they put muzzles and on top of that they want you to put you too as if they were someone to tell you etc .
    So that you go to the doctors , to put everything in your body , including vaccines and drugs that are harmful in the long run , such as muzzles and missing oxygen , to follow narrative that there is a danger in the air ( god what a level of heads )
    They falsify every diagnosis and invent tests to justify dictatorships.
    They don’t even hide anymore , they talk directly about more dnis control , closures , subjugation , unemployment , they put uncontrolled immigration for more confrontation , etc etc etc.

  6. Petra says:

    Great job, I love how you’re always experimenting and building stuff!

    1. Benjamin says:

      Thank you! I was partly inspired by your facial cleansing post in relation to clay!

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