Technical information 


The pottery we produce is mainly woodfired stoneware with some marbled porcelain and raku. The stoneware is a plastic clay comprising of a mixture of ball clays, one from Wareham in Dorset the other from Devon, plus China clay from Cornwall and fine silica sand from near Chard in Somerset. The clay arrives as dug, in lump form, we then  slake down the materials in water.  Then mixed in a blunger until it is the consistency of cream, sieved to remove any foreign matter and transported using an old swimming pool pump, into large troughs to dry. It can take up to ten weeks to mature, finally it is pugged before we use it. The pugging machine mixes the clay into a uniform state ready for the potter to shape into a pot.
The porcelain is mixed in a ball mill using: china clay, quartz, feldspar and bentonite. The ball mill is a large 20 gallon drum full of round stones, this rotates and grinds the clay or glaze being mixed. The marbled effect is gained by adding metallic oxides with the clay, chrome (green), Iron (Brown/Black), cobalt (blue) and rutile (gold). A small amount of each of the coloured clays are added together, the pot is thrown on a potters wheel producing the spiral pattern.  
The raku clay comprises 60% ball clay 30% grog 10% talc (grog is a non plastic ground fired clay). It is the additions of molocite (fired china clay) and talc that is important, these help the pots to withstand the tremendous thermal shock when put into a kiln at 1000 degrees centigrade.
The main difference between stoneware and porcelain is one of opacity in stoneware, and translucence in porcelain which has a more glass like structure.
All of the pots we sell are made by one of the family. David, Ben and Simon throw their pots on a wheel, making small ring box using only a few oz of clay to large bread crocks that weight up to thirty pounds. 
Patricia has never used a wheel but she makes all the square and rectangular ware. These are hand built using slabs of clay and extrusions of clay from the pug mill. They are very complicated and can have four or five sections of clay joined together using a thick slip.

Once the pottery is made and fired to 960 degrees centigrade (biscuit temp) in an electric kiln, many different decorative techniques are employed. An application of glaze is put on to the biscuit pot. The designs are applied using ether paper cut, wax resist, glazed trailed, poured or brushed on to the pot to obtain the desired result. The inspiration for the decoration comes from many sources, landscape in it many moods, animal, floral and abstract.
We use many different glazes Chun, Shino, and Celadon, some on their own or in combination with each other. A number of the pots are left unglazed apart from the decoration which is painted or trailed on with glaze and pigments. Wide expanses of raw clay take on a rich toasted colour where the flame encircles the pot depositing fusible salts to the surface of the pot during the wood firing. 
All the glazes we use are prepared from basic raw materials such as granite, basalt, limestone and quartz mostly from the south west of England. Some of the glazes are very simple , others are more complex in nature. Unusual materials are melted into a fritted glass, ground and refined to enable them to be used. 


Post fired reduction being applied to a  raku pot.

The raku glazes are low fired, using low expansion alkali frits as the main ingredient. The patten is applied using glazes and pigments, waxed over before a thin layer of black copper oxide glaze is applied all over.

Below is a photo of the woodfired raku kiln with the door open. We will be demonstrating this technique at our open day, for more information about the open day  please contact us.