Clay and cleanliness.

Posted on Nov 20, 2012

After watching me throw in the classroom studio, my pottery class instructor encouraged me to be okay with the messiness that comes from throwing a pot. “At home you don’t have to clean up every time!” she said. She’s right. I like a big bucket of clean water, a coffee can of throwing water and lots of sponges. While throwing, I clean my hands often.

So I tried. I tried leaving clay slurry in my wheel pan, not scrubbing each bucket before I filled it with fresh water, not mopping at the end of each day and the beginning of the next.

Didn’t work. I’m compelled to clean.

One reason is the minor compulsion to keep dust down. Dust is not good for lungs, especially long-term lung function. There are some nasty things in powdered clay (mostly silica). I don’t want to breathe it and I don’t want the dogs to breathe it.

But the big reason is…

Winchester. Clay monster. Scouring the floor for bits of clay and waiting for me to leave the wheel so he can mush his nose between the wheel head and pan to sneak tasty(?) bit of dried clay. Yum.


  1. Paula
    November 20, 2012

    And Winchester is the best reason. Keep it clean.

  2. Patrice
    November 20, 2012

    Winchester is a very cute clay monster. 🙂

  3. Caron
    November 21, 2012

    That’s so funny that Winchester likes to sample the clay. I agree, best to keep it cleaner for health. Breathing clay and silica isn’t a good thing.

  4. Veronica
    November 28, 2012

    I would love a clay monster like Winchester. I’m with you though. I would be compelled to clean up the mess after as well.

  5. Robin W
    December 17, 2012

    I agree with you! Cleaning is the easiest way to keep dust down….and dust is the enemy. Not just clay…but glaze dust is even worse. I always mop up after glazing…..

  6. Gary Rith
    January 14, 2013

    My goodness…I have been blogging several years and potting and sculpting for 30…and your work is blowing my mind. SO wonderful! Nice to find you 🙂 Gary


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