most powerful feature of a hand-made ceramic piece is how it makes visible and durable the
processes that created it. There, frozen perpetually are the potters finger mark,
the sculptors knuckle, the glazes patina, and the form of the clay. Each
remnant of the process is left intentionally, and the artists expression relies on
this maxim: the artist must know the materials, and she must know their limits. Knowing
the limits of the materials comes with years of work with clay, from repeated successes
and failures. Materials that are predictable and consistent complement this mastery of
technique, so that the artist may concentrate on pushing their limits, not redefining
them. For this reason ceramic artists generally prefer blended clay bodies over local
Traditionally, ceramists have dug their clay
by hand from naturally occurring deposits in the region. Even today,
|enthusiasts are uncovering
clays with outstanding qualities. However, these deposits are generally small and varied,
making consistency over time impossible. In addition, the clay in these deposits must be
extracted by hand, transported, and hand-worked in preparation for use.
"Traditionally, ceramists have dug their clay by hand
from naturally occurring deposits in the region."
Blended clays take advantage of components mined across the U.S. and the world. Each
mine strives for the greatest possible consistency in its production. Once the components
are collected at a manufacturer such as Laguna Clay Company, they are blended
|to create clay bodies with a
wide range of properties. Whiteness, color, plasticity, firing temperature, resistance to
temperature change, and porosity are some of the principal characteristics that can be
adjusted to suit the needs of the user. And when these characteristics are suitable, they
can be reproduced year after year. All of the clay bodies are packed in manageable
quantities, ready for transport to the studio and immediate use.
Laguna Clay offers over
50 different stock clay bodies, a palette that fulfills the requirements of most every
application. For ceramists who have unusual processes or specific color needs, Laguna
produces custom blends. Either way, the goal is the same: to provide the artist with a
consistent, predictable material supply that will allow him to focus on the possibilities
of the material, and the remnants he leaves in it.