Clevedon, Somerset

On a beautiful Wednesday in October Rob and I drove to Clevedon to explore and look for useful stuff to experiment with.  The pier is beautiful but at £3 a visit makes for a rather expensive short walk, so as the tide was going out we went onto the beach and found some sticky silt/clay which I bagged up to test back at uni.  I also collected three types of seaweed, a feather, limpet shells, a crab shell, rusty aluminium can, pinecone, seaglass and driftwood.  These all record an afternoon at the seaside.

These were the seaweed tests – impressed raw seaweed which was effective.  Top right – raw seaweed, Bottom right – seaweed ashes.  Proving a useful neutral glaze sheen with some beige/tan colour.

Limpet shells became a bit crumbly but kept their shape, a reminder that shells are useful when firing glazed pieces as they leave a decorative chalk shell deposit in the glaze.  The crab was a complete surprise as it fired a bright turquoise, part of which is embedded in the test bowl.

The pine cone and driftwood results were not unexpected.  The pine cone gave a lovely widespread sheen and some colour, the driftwood stick was a lot smaller so gave considerably less spectacular results.  The rusty can stayed intact but is fragile and didn’t give any colour to the test bowl holding it.

Finally, a use for all the sea glass I find on beaches – eight different coloured pieces gave a lovely crackled display of melted glass at 1140º (I’ve only just discovered that Bath Spa bisque to 1140º not 1000º as I’ve previously been used to, so this makes a massive difference to my test results).

The feather left a beautiful impression in the white stoneware and some frothy beige ash but no colour in the clay.

The mud that I collected was fantastic.  It needed little sieving or cleaning and rolled out beautifully for test tiles.  Fired to 1140º it turned a lovely red/mauve colour with no warping or cracking.  10cm shrank to 8.5cm.  I’m now trying to think how I can get more of this silt without upsetting the locals!

PS.  A silt clay test tile was fired to 1260º, unfortunately it was not put on a saggar! and became a lovely brown shiny glass … on the kiln shelf.  I was introduced to the goggles, hammer and chisel, and made good the shelf again … lesson learned.

Photos: Brown, A. (2016).


2 thoughts on “Clevedon, Somerset

  1. Hello,
    do you know how suitable Clevedon mud is for making pots, plates or mugs? Thanks!


    1. It all depends how high you want to fire to… but don’t fire to stoneware temps as it does turn into a glaze! Test it out for yourself is the best advice … you might like what it does. It is silt really from further up the river so will vary in quality too. Alison


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close