Local Clay Bottle
Believe it or not, the color on the neck of this bottle is a locally dug clay. I deeply love clay, and I deeply love the outdoors so it's almost inevitable that I would start digging clays. I sieve them to remove rocks and sand but other than that leave them true to their natural state. I do most of my digging in DuPage County, IL, and the clays around here are earthenwares-they have too much iron and other minerals to fire over 2000 degrees without melting. Here I've turned a local clay into slip (sort of like a paint consistency clay) by adding water and used it to decorate the outside of the neck, with a single splash on the belly. After this was decorated and bisque fired, to give it strength for glazing, it was fired in an outdoor wood kiln. In a firing that lasts up to 18 hours, ash from the fuel is deposited on the pots in the kiln. At over 2000 degrees it melts into a beautiful, unique surface. The bare clay also flashed with a swirl of red/orange.