He dug the clay with a digging stick and made several pinch pots and one larger clay pot with a lid. After firing the lidded pot, he retrieved water from the creek and boiled it, showing the pot was an effective vessel for this purpose.
He’s made clay vessels before, but what was interesting in this project was that he worked the clay very minimally. He also didn’t fire the bowls and the pot in a mud kiln. He simply made a small, controlled tipi fire around the pot.
This was sufficient to fire the pot, which he tested by striking the side of it with a stick. The fired pot made a clear, ringing sound, signifying that there were no cracks and the pot was strong.
It will be interesting to see how his work with natural clay continues to progress. I’m curious to see if he’ll fashion a pottery wheel to turn the clay into more elegant vessels, as opposed to making simple rope or coil pinch pots.
As always, he learns something with every project he undertakes. He indicates that the next pot he makes will have thinner walls so the water can boil more quickly. He also learned that the oven he made cut down on the smoke in the hut and increased the life of the coals made by the fire.
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