From time to time we get asked to make commissions. Usually, the answer is a negative one as we are so busy helping others to make their own pottery, we’d struggle to find the capacity to manufacture.
However, on the odd occasion we are presented by a challenge that really tickles our fancy and an opportunity we cant pass up.
A local company Subsurface Geotechnical who carry out geological surveys, contacted us to see if we could make a batch of pottery bases for some of their scientific equipment. Intrigued, we set up a meeting to find out more.
When clay is bisque fired it has good porosity which is essential when dipping an item into a bucket of glaze. (The glaze particles in suspension get sucked into the surface of the pot.) The guys at SG use the porosity properties of fired ceramic to slow release liquids into the ground. (The plastic pipe pictured above slots onto the base and is sealed forming a vessel in which to pour the liquid)
The bases were all thrown on the potter’s wheel and tested my measuring skills and ability to calculate shrinkage. Clay can shrink up to 20% from soft, squidgy material to dried and fired ceramic – Now my head really hurts!
Subsurface Geotechnical have promised to forward some photos of the technology in action so watch this space!