Many people have asked me how I achieve my “fossil effect” impressions on my pottery pieces.
Here's my dirty little secret...
When I delicately press fresh cut ferns, rusty leaves, and other patterns into my wet clay forms, those patterns would generally not visually "pop" without a darker pigment to help accent the imprinted pattern. The pattern needs a helper.
After I have added patterns or textures to my pieces, and the pieces have had time to air dry, I then bisque fire them so the pieces can be glazed. It is during the glazing phase that I apply a very special “earthly colorant”; a dark pigment made from recovered iron and manganese runoff that once polluted Pennsylvania streams caused by abandoned mine drainage. These recovered minerals have been painstakingly reclaimed by my good friends at Stream Restoration, Inc., a watershed restoration company located not far from my Pennsylvania studio. Stream Restoration repurposes the reclaimed minerals into pigments that they sell to potters like me to use during our glazing process, enhancing the natural texture of our designs.
Stream Restoration formed a non-profit called Clean Creek Products, a non-profit online pottery store where 100% of their pottery sales go to support watershed restoration efforts.
So, when you purchase this “green technology” pottery from me or Clean Creek Products, you are contributing helping to fund continued efforts to treat abandoned mine runoff and keep our streams and rivers clean.