I love micaceous clay pottery. Micaceous clay is a clay that naturally contains a high propotion of mica. Mica is a great natural conductor of heat & as a result, allows micaceous cookware to hold heat extremely well. The local Pueblos & native peoples of Northern New Mexico have used this clay for cookware for over 1000 years, and still maintain a sacred tradition around its collection and use.
I was taught the Apache coil & scrape method by Felipe Ortega, Jicarilla Apache master potter. The coil & scrape method of making pots is an ancient method that predates the more usual wheel used in modern ceramics. I saw potters in Zambia creating beautifully symetrical pots in 1996 using this method and was fascinated by the control & precision they used. I have also seen Neolithic pots in European museums built using coils, although in Europe, this method was augmented with the “fast wheel” over 3,000 years ago and eventually gave way, in more recent times, to wheel thrown pottery. In parts of Greece & more easterly Europe, you can still find some traditional potters, who build their pottery using coils & a wheel, rather than throwing pots.
Meeting Micaceous clay has been a gift to me. I often tell people that working with this clay is what keeps me sane! My kitchen has many pots that I use for cooking & I also make pottery to sell. This year, I have been fascinated with a round shape bowl, that I have called “Nest Bowls”. I use one of them as a Medicine Bowl for my workshops. If you would like to talk to me about making a cook pot or Medicine bowl, please contact me.
Mother Clay …
Calling me forth
to call forth
Partly me but mostly her
voice sings through