The best thing about the slightly vague open idea of this project is the chance to take an idea in a previously unconsidered direction.
My visit to the quarry in the north of Cambridgeshire with the Archeologists was particularly interesting. I managed to get samples of various clays that are rarely exposed, that have been laid down in quite specific time frames - from the Jurassic until the last ice age that extended across East Anglia. The site also contains samples of pottery from Neolithic, Bronze Age, Iron Age and Roman times, which this image illustrates.
Not only am I investigating these clays for my own use but am helping the Archeologists ascertain which clay deposits were used by potters in these different eras. My next task is to fire samples of these pot shards to different temperatures, along with test bars of the clays to compare colour, texture and porosity as the clays progressively fuse.
It is surprising just how lacking in strength (low-fired) most of these samples are. It is only the Roman that shows signs of maturity and along with the late Iron Age sample, any strength at all.