The Assiniboine Samuri came around during one of the many pit fires. On this particular firing, I took the temperature to an extreme for this clay body and ultimately fused various pieces of other broken pots together. What was left was the Assiniboine Samuri and his tools.
I focus on a different technique for each series.
Mary was built at the beginning of my clay making ventures. I built a series of three sided forms. There were 30 pieces in this series. At this time my clay mix was still in the works. It already had a super plastic characteristic in the clay which was allowing me to form such shapes. This mix didn't do so good during the firing. Out of the 30 forms made, 29 of them broke in the kiln. This is one of the ones that cracked. The crack was repaired with care and a touch of magic, then painted finally in 2012 with oil paints. Mary was the strongest one, and will last through time.
In the fall of 2009 I took my kayak out on the Assiniboine River to a place that I knew had some accessible clay. I dug some up and took it to a couple of local potters to see what they thought of it. At this time I knew very little about clay in relation to pottery. Both potters managed to make a pot each out of the new found clay. As rough as they were, they were still pots. Now after seeing that it was going to be possible to use this local clay, I researched, finding what properties were good for making pots. Clay is a lot like concrete, which I was quite familiar with, so the additives that I would be adding to the clay made sense to me. After digging a few hundred pounds, the clay from the river needed to be cleaned of organics, sand and rocks. I did that by slacking the clay with water into a slurry and filtering through screens. With help, I made a table out of concrete with heat cables running through it and poured this slurry on it to dry it to the right consistency for making pots. At this point I would measure the amount of clay and sand and other things that will be mixed together to create a clay that is easy to work with, as well as having the right properties to withstand the firing process...now I have clay!
14"x 6" 2011
14"x 8" 2011
6" x 6" x 12"
8" x 7"
This is my version of the "Pit Fire".
This series started when I was experimenting firing some pottery in a burning barrel outside the shop, just to see what happened.
Using all my scrap wood as the energy, one piece at a time, one firing at a time, I began a study of the relationship between clay, temperature, and the effects of metals in and on a clay body. The colour of each piece in this series came from the effects of iron oxide. rust.
This was an experiment with coil pots and glaze. What I wanted to do was build the largest vessel possible and still have it fit into my electric kiln to be fired. I glazed it with a ^06 glaze but fired it to ^05 to see how the extra heat would affect it. I was monitoring the kiln in its last few minutes of its firing and 2 seconds before the kiln shut off I heard the vessel break. The next morning this is what I found, the piece had imploded. Since the glaze was still molten when the vessel broke, the fallen pieces are still fused together.
12" x 16" Painted Assiniboine Clay
The Assiniboine Clay Project
Copyright 2018 Jeff Morris. All Rights Reserved.
As I'm working on the clay mix, trying out a variety of building techniques sparks new ideas
This is one of the latest techniques I have been working on. The form is made with clay then painted.
14"x 6" 2011
15"x 7" 2011
10" x 17" Painted Assiniboine Clay
Every piece of ceramic I make is made with Assiniboine Clay
9" x 8" Painted Assiniboine Clay
10" x 14" Painted Assiniboine Clay