First of all, I’d like to say Happy New Year! I wish love, health, wealth, and happiness to you all.

I’m starting with a simple, small bowl. How is that different, I hear you ask? Well, it isn’t really hugely different, it’s just that it’s in a different black clay, Vulcan Fine Black.(available here: )

My small black bowl on the wheel with the lid of the ‘takeaway carton’ that my £1 sample of the clay came in. I actually took this picture so that I couldn’t accidentally lose the information on the range of temperatures for firing.

I love black clay, I really do, but the black clay that I use most of the time is finely grogged, and when I try to throw with it, it’s pretty hard on the hands, although my studio neighbour Peter Swailes has given me some throwing tips to ameliorate the sandblasting effect.  It makes excellent handbuilt/press moulded platters, however, and if it was ungrogged there would be a greater risk of them warping in the kiln. (Here it is: although I buy it from the lovely guys at CTM in Doncaster: )

I would like to admit that I have cheated and I haven’t thrown this on New Year’s Day, but before Christmas.  This was because I knew I wouldn’t be able to get into the studio but would be nursing a dreadful hangover, if not with my head over a loo praying for a speedy death!  I’m sure you forgive me, because if you can’t overindulge on New Year, when can you overindulge?

Anyway, the Vulcan clay was lovely to throw with, butter soft, and it looks so much like chocolate that it was hard not to sink my teeth into it. I have no talent at throwing and yet produced a reasonable bowl with about half the £1 sample that I bought at Earth and Fire, earlier in 2016.


My small Vulcan black clay bowl after turning. I like to leave a deliberate spiral on the underside when I turn a foot ring. I’ve numbered it so that I know where it goes in my ‘Pot a day’ sequence.

A day later, I turned it to tidy it up a little, and voila, the first bowl of my ‘Pot a day’ challenge (albeit a bit early).

Unlike my normal work, I’m going to leave it very plain. I plan to stoneware fire it, as the firing range on the little sample carton says 1200-1240 C, and I may glaze the interior so that it is more usable. I quite fancy a satin white interior, what do you think?