Exploring the World of Pottery: A Treasure Hunt for Local Materials

A New Brunswick ceramic artist, Michael Wood, is on a geological treasure hunt for local material for his craft. Wood, who has a pottery studio at his home on the Petitcodiac River in Salisbury, works as the ceramic technician at the Arts and Culture Centre in Dieppe and recently appeared on the CBC reality show, The Great Canadian Pottery Throw Down. He is currently working on a project to develop a made-in-New Brunswick ceramic glaze, the glassy coating used to seal earthenware items like dishes and vases.

Wood drew inspiration for his project from the historical roots of pottery, where potters would set up near water and a source of clay. Given the abundance of resources in New Brunswick, he saw an opportunity to source materials locally instead of ordering them from around the world. Wood identified that local clay in New Brunswick has a high iron content, which melts at a lower temperature than his preferred material. However, he believes that the abundance of granite in the region could be a good source for creating glazes.

To find the right rocks for his project, Wood began his search in the provincial archives, looking up historic mines and geological maps. He has made a list of places he plans to visit this summer to dig for rock samples. By crushing and testing rocks found in the region, Wood aims to create unique glazes that reflect the natural landscape of New Brunswick.

#pottery #ceramics #localmaterials