Photo: Portraits by Blanka - Volunteers at Cotton End Park

Processing clay from Cotton End Park, Long Buckby, 2019

In 2019, in collaboration with volunteers at Long Buckby Green Spaces, we dug and processed clay from the park (no damage to the park was done). It was a great experience, we learned a lot about our local resources and made beautiful pots. 

Cotton End Park is a beautiful outdoor space built and maintained by the volunteers of Long Buckby Green Spaces. The park sits on a rich bed of clay and during the 19th and beginning of 20th century, there was a Brickworks owned by the Foulds family from Leicestershire. Many houses at Cotton End were built with bricks made of clay from Cotton End Park.

Digging and processing local clay

First step of the process was to dig a few buckets of clay and transport to the pottery for being processed.  

Adam, Laura, Nick (from left to right)

Daniel, Mike, Tim, Adam, Nick and Laura (clockwise)

At the pottery the clay was left in buckets with water for a few days to slake down. Then we would use a mixer to mix the clay and put it through a sieve to eliminate any unwanted materials such as stones.

Laura and Nick processing clay

Laura processing clay

Clay drying after being put through a sieve

When the clay gets to a workable consistency it will be put on plaster bats and left to dry to a dough like consistency. It will then be wedged to eliminate the air bubbles. The clay will then be kept in airtight plastic bags.

We made some fabulous pots and through workshops and local fairs we raised funds for Cotton End Park and other chosen charities. 

Check our Facebook and Instagram pages to read more about this process.