Pottery, Fired At Willow Manor

Hello, Benjamin from Brother’s Campfire here.

Blogging is therapeutic. I enjoy writing, but more, I enjoy living life. In Colorado, they don’t say “Hi, how are you”, but rather, “How high are you?”

Today, I will be talking about another kind of pot.

Yesterday, I tried my hand at firing some pottery in the Campfire here at Willow Manor Urban Farm. This clay is an ongoing experiment using “wild” clay processed here. The process includes 2 buckets and an old shirt. If you have those items and a fire, you can do everything I describe as well.

Not all of our pieces were selected for firing as some were cracked and went into a reclaim bin. I feel I have enough sherds and grog, which are basically broken bits of clay that broke in the firing to be added to my clay at a later time.

I slowly built a fire around and over the pottery, a process that took a lot of time. We set back and worked on other projects in between.

I purposely used scrap wood from a rotten bookcase and sticks from nearby trees to demonstrate proof of concept that anyone can make pottery in a back yard fire or BBQ grill.

Underneath all of this ash and charcoal was our hard work. I will not deny that after 10 hours of tending a fire, there was a lot of anxiety to dig further.

Among the first out was my daughter’s bear. It was her first piece, and a success! She plans on painting it and gifting to an artistic minded recipient.

A rosette my Beloved made survived the firing. This was an excellent proof of concept to show thin walls can be fired.

The question was, can the pinch pots hold water. The answer was, yes! All held water to a high extent for over 15 minutes without a glaze. Fortunately, the challenge was not over yet.

Funtional is king, so the bold among us made a strong pot of coffee and gave it a try.

It wasn’t too shabby. There is satisfaction in using something made from raw materials.

Author: The Storyteller

Benjamin Thiel is a husband, father, correctional professional and author of The Ongoing Tale at Brothers Campfire. His favorite quote is "Don't count the lions. It will make you afraid and slow you down."

40 thoughts on “Pottery, Fired At Willow Manor”

  1. It’s always satisfying to create something with your own two hands, be it something functional or just for show. In times past, it was commonplace, but now, not so much so.

  2. Good for you for carrying on with your project. Being creative is therapeutic, IMO. I think you’ll enjoy The Alchemist Studio blog if you like pottery.

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