A scene, not the entire story. Designed to give me a deeper understanding of pottery
|Areon now knew he had to learn to source the clay before he could start making the same wonderful creations as his master. Beautiful red and black vases, bowls, and cups were continually produced and sold to the travelling salesmen to send throughout the region.
But first, the clay needed to be sourced and refined. The village where Areon and his master worked, along with several other masters and many other apprentices, was in a clay rich area. This was, in fact, why the village had been built where it was.
The powdery dry clay was shovelled into large outdoor pools, making a thick silty liquid. This allowed the impurities such as stones to sink to the bottom. The refined liquid was then drained into a second pool and the process was repeated several times. The pool was then baked in the hot dry sun, another reason for the village being place in this location, leaving behind the refined clay.
The clay was still not ready for use, it needed to be mixed and made malleable. Areon place chunks of refined clay into a pile half as tall as a grown man, and stood on it, stamping in circles to thoroughly mix the clay. He once asked a more senior apprentice why they didn't do it by hand instead. "Try it and see," was the response. Areon's arms ached for several days after that.
Areon had had a rather romantic notion of what an apprenticeship would be like. He had certainly never appreciated before now just how much work it was to simply produce a clay ready for the potter's wheel.