This workshop will take you deep into how to find, process, and work with raw clay straight from the earth. This one-day intensive will start with a native clay petting zoo, throwing demo, and a discussion of different qualities of native clay bodies and their uses. This will be followed by a presentation on locating and digging your own clay and a demonstration on how to make terra sigillata. This workshop is packed with information not only about clay from the region, but also the qualities of clay in general from a working, geological, and chemistry perspective.
Students are encouraged to bring in any samples of native materials to examine.
Zach Sierke is a Fairhope native and has grown up with the idealistic vision and natural beauty of the community as a deeply ingrained source of inspiration in all aspects of his life. Zach came to clay during his freshman year at Eckerd College and immediately became obsessed with the ceramic process. The next four years were spent returning to Fairhope, investigating centuries-old kiln sites (including his great, great grandfather's), hand-mining native clays from every available deposit, and transporting them back to Eckerd College - where he tested them in the wood-fired kiln that he helped build.
After returning to Fairhope, Zach started the construction of a uniquely innovative, well-researched, and large anagama kiln, which he now uses to fire his native clay work.