One day I took a plastic bowl and filled it with all the turned stoneware ‘scrapings’ from the potter’s wheel as they worked on their leather-hard pots: tightly-coiled whorls of clay, jagged serrations, small peelings, worms of interlocked bands – all no longer needed, all of which I dried to leather-hard.
I sprinkled these into my plaster mould over a layer of damp cheesecloth and began to gently press them together with my cloth-covered pestle. Gradually I added more, sprinkling a tiny amount of water to keep the peelings pliable, then smoothed over the layer with a cloth and tidied the rim.
When the bowl was, scraped down a little to compress and reveal the markings, then dried and bisque-fired, it came out a strange weight – rather like volcanic tufa rock. I brushed on a green oxide glaze, which I then sponged off the surface so it filled only the interstices. The glaze brought out a kind of oolitic limestone pattern, for the fossils of every tiny coil or whorl resembled the stone of Waterloo Bridge, which I walked over nearly every day … so I call it my ‘Waterloo Bridge Pot’ or ‘Oolitic Pot’.
This gave rise to many ‘Recycled Pots’, I used shards of torn unwanted clay and made rims for pots from these pieces, or gouged into slip-clay, which, being ‘short’, left ridged markings – I even used all my scraped-off coloured pieces from my Millefiori pots to make a giant egg, or bowl, or parts of bowl.
Nothing must be wasted.