Wild Clay Research
My USP experience allowed me to successfully prospect for and test local clay materials for use in ceramic art. I used clays from Beaverhead, Gallatin, and Fergus counties. The majority of these clays mature at earthenware temperatures and one in particular has potential for use as a studio clay body. All of the clays being tested can be developed in to unique surface applications on high-fire ceramic art. I have fabricated and tested a burner system using waste vegetable oil as a fuel source. After three firings, the oil system has been a successful supplement to our wood fired kiln. I plan to build more efficient burners and alter the firing process to realize the full potential of this fuel source. Through various events, I have been able to connect with colleagues and the general public to discuss my research of these materials and process. Collaborating with Nick Danielson, we will provide informational booklets at NCECA at the end of this month. With my mentor, Dean Adams, we were able to send the clay samples to a testing lab for analysis which I will have for archiving and dissemination by the end of March.