What’s not to love about clay?
Women in my art groups at SECASA and in the studio love getting their hands into, and trying out different clays. White earthenware, raku, terracotta, stoneware and a beautifully delightful clay called Toast! Each clay has a unique structure and feel, some are smooth and soft, whilst others are robust and gritty. Some fire pure white, others terracotta and some even black. We paint, and glaze too. It is a totally wonderful material for so many reasons …. not least because it is of the earth and has qualities that feel natural and soothing.
We choose hand-building clays, as we don’t work on the wheel. The raku and grittier clays are great for large works, and sculpture. They are also useful for beginners as they hold their shape easily. The smoother and more elastic clays can be a bit more of a challenge, but their lovely texture and ability to accept texture and mark-making is worth taking up that challenge!
I asked some women to give me their thoughts on why they loved clay so much. Here are their responses :
“What I like about working with clay is the texture and the cool on your hands.
Very pliable. And you don’t need to think”.