This weekend I have been enjoying some ‘play clay’ time. Volunteering to take the love of Clay to people of all ages at two different Autumn events. I always enjoy doing these events, its very relaxing just showing people how to make very simple things in clay – there’s no fuss about how well they are constructed or whether they will last through a firing. The clay at these two events will be recycled for the next time The Dacorum and Chiltern Potters Guild is out in the community playing with clay. Before the pandemic hit this clay had been a Cathedral, a Roman Amphitheatre, a Viking boat and some iconic buildings in St Albans. This weekend it has been a farm and an Autumn tree of leaves and various animals.
Clay is infinitely recyclable, until it is fired into ceramic – then it will last millennia, and is almost indestructible – which is why artefacts from archaeological digs are most often pieces of ceramic. This weekend’s clay creations have been immortalised by video, and I have taken a few representative pieces to fire in my kiln as examples for future events. Some pieces went home with their proud maker, on the understanding that when they dry the clay will probably crumble up, but with the magic touch of water it can be made back into soft clay and then into something new. The rest has gone into a clay bag, to be wedged, pugged and reformed into soft, useable clay for the next event.