All the clays I have gathered in the past 2 months now need to be processed. That means thoroughly dried, soaked in water so the particles break down to smallest size, mixed well with water then sieved trough fine mesh. It is a time and energy consuming process, one which you constantly ask yourself if it’s worth doing. It is, if you are obsessed with it and if you know your goals.
I am pursuing ceramics made of 100% Slovenian materials. Why? Because I believe it was perhaps done in the past, but not today. In the past clay was definitely local, but for glazes I cannot say. I cannot say where traditional potters got their low temperature glazes, which were transparent, green and brown, usually with lead oxide, so it melted in their working temperatures at around 1000°C. Perhaps there were some businesses which were grinding and mixing that materials, but materials were not local, at least not all.
What I want to achieve is a piece made of Slovenian clay body and glaze made of local stones, grinded and mixed together as a glaze – fired to a stoneware temperatures with local wood. I believe that has not been done yet. For stones I recently purchased a ball mill. For kiln – it is yet to be built. Clay is everywhere.
Why going trough all this trouble? Today it is easy to buy things made from all around the world. I am a patriot. We can buy Slovenian products, made of Slovenian materials. Bu these are rare and even if the production in based in Slovenia, materials are not necessarily.
We live in a world where you can easily buy cheap things produced in third world countries by dubious work force, in an environment which hurts environment, then transported to your country, thousands of miles away, for which was burned thousands of liters of oil. Think a little, just a little, what you buy and how does that affect you, people around you, and people who will come after you.
Ok, I will not be this hateful person, who hates how the world works. I did explain though why I want to produce the way I want. There are 2 more reasons I would like to emphasize. First geology is amazing. Every location on Earth has a unique material. There are no 2 locations with exactly the same geological composition. Materials in ground are so diverse and the combination of it so immense, that there are no 2 places absolutely the same. One location gives you a footprint or rather a fingerprint of a spot which is one of a kind. I want to make one of a kind ceramics. Slovenian ceramics. Secondly I am a person who is looking for connections. We all are in a way. And with ceramics and materials I find in nature I connect to the location, I connect with materials. But I also connect with people who lived on that location before me, who were using the same materials, and in a way perhaps materials are made of them. Think about it; it is a possibility that the ground I use is partly comprised of plants from billions of years ago, comprised from animal residues, comprised of people. It is quite possible so.