Hand & Earth

This blog documents my exploits in digging and using local clay. This journey started a couple of years ago, and evolved through a sequence of events. I’ve always had a fondness for being out in nature, observing my surroundings, picking up bits of plastic and foraging for wild foods. I guess it was only a matter of time until I began collecting clay and rocks too.

I have taken an interest in the geology of Dorset. We have a rich history of ceramics in the area. Verwood is home to one of the oldest Roman pottery sites, and there was a working pottery there until fairly recently. There were also potteries dotted around Sandford (Wareham), Purbecks, and of course Poole (Poole Pottery being the most well know of recent years, sadly now closed and working from a factory in Denby). The reason for all this activity is down to the lay of the land, and the rich clay deposits of the area. 

Glaze Chemistry

In May 2018 I spent two days on a glaze chemistry workshop run by Linda Bloomfield at Forest Row School of Ceramics. This was a…
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Guy Sydenham

August 2019 What better way to spend a rainy afternoon than tucking into a good read!  I am lucky enough to get my hands on…
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Clay on Brownsea

October 2019 Look at that clay deposit. I grabbed a small handful of each of these layers. I’m curious to find out what the mineral…
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Burseldon Brickworks

November 2019 I took a trip to our local brickworks in Swanwick, Hampshire. It is the only complete steam driven brickworks left in the UK.…
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Brownsea Island

October 2019 Brownsea Island was home to it’s own pottery around 1875-1885. This was due to the discovery of a large vein of clay that…
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