The Pottery.

The Pottery is operated by volunteers with to give visitors some insight into

the skills and excitement of pottery, with an opportunity for anyone to have

a go at the variety of activities on offer, leading to the pleasure of taking

something home from the experience.

On display is a basic momentum wheel which shows the principle behind its mechanism.

These ealy, often homemade, wheels were used before electricity was available

and some potters today still use similar wheels to throw pots as they feel

more in control and they are much quieter than wheels with a motor drive.

Demonstrations include throwing pots on the wheel, glazing items for

Raku firing which results in interesting effects, including metallic lustre

and crackle glazes, and hand building using air drying clay which can be painted when dry.

Potteries were often established in villages to supply the locals with their needs of

vessels, crockery, plaques, sculptures, bricks, tiles and special presents.

Clay would have been dug from ridges in the Chiltern Hills, (which are remains of ancient

rivers that once flowed across the chalk). This clay deposit often contains

fragments of flint with sand and all these materials are used together for the formation

of glazes to give pots their smooth and sometimes glossy surface. To fire the pots,

wood from the local trees would have been burnt in kilns to fuse the clay and melt the glaze.

The area was well supplied with trees to support this purpose.

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