I wrote this short article as a summation of four years of research in pursuit of a workable, high soda, low-fire clay-body. It draws on the writings of potter and scholar Alan Caiger-Smith, who patiently answered my questions, and generously sent me a chard of the ancient anomalous clay I was researching, which he had collected from the palace at Samarra. I was able to touch, smell, and taste this ancient piece of ceramic, and this helped me enormously. Caiger-Smith's life as a thriving studio potter, his scholarship, and writing were and are deeply inspiring.
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