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localization, was: re: books on mining

updated sat 12 jun 04


Roger Korn on fri 11 jun 04

Could not have put it better myself. I'm using a mix of local kaolin
from a road cut near Camp Verde and pumice grog from my
field to make a refractory mix for mortaring and castable. Easy to
prepare, free, quick dry, sticky, barely melted by oxy-acetylene flame,
ZERO shrinkage in drying from slop to green, ZERO shrinkage in firing to
^6 (haven't gone higher yet).

Magic in my own backyard.


Hank wrote:

My principal reason for collecting and processing my own raw materials,
an interest that I have pursued over the last 30 years, is
two-fold.Firstly, I have a deeply held belief in a theory of locality,
which I call the 'location specific event' which, if you have read any
of my other writings, you will be familiar with (see Australian
Woodfiring). So there is no need to elaborate on it here.Secondly, it
is to strike a blow against the trend towards a global pottery style,
where a majority of potters around the world end up using all the same
ceramic ingredients. An oligopoly of ceramic material manufacturers
using the same colours, frits etc. China clay is sourced from New
Zealand, bentonite from Mexico, nepheline syenite from Canada. Where
one ingredient is found to be very good, it is shipped all over the
world and every ones work has the same basic look and feel. I am happy
to seek out 'inferior'? local raw ingredients for my pots, for my food
and for my wine. I think its called character. It certainly won't be
the best in the world, it may not even be very good in comparison to
the 'best' but it's what happens here, with this stuff. It's my belief
that if you work with a material long enough you will find a way to
express its personality, and beauty.

McKay Creek Ceramics
In OR: PO Box 436
North Plains, OR 97133

In AZ: PO Box 463
Rimrock, AZ 86335