Cold store


I’m just about to order some more clay and I have a conundrum… Living in the far north of Scotland means that delivery charges are hellish, so it makes sense for me to order as large a quantity as possible to bring down the unit cost. Now that I am happy with my choice of clays this in itself seems to be an easy decision, but storage of half or even a tonne of clay is more of a challenge. Unfortunately I don’t have a handy, empty cellar or the like – at the moment I store my clay in an old compost bin which is on top of a pallet. It holds about twenty 12.5kg bags, but it is outside. We often have very cold winters here… so far this year it has been mild but we’ve known it get as low as -19˚C and I’m worried about the clay freezing. I understand this is not a good thing, though I’ve not experienced it myself, yet.

A while ago I visited Thomas Gough at his pottery on Speyside. He keeps his clay in an old, defunct freezer. The insulation keeps the clay at an even temperature and it’s airtight too. Quite inappropriately appropriate when you consider my problem. I’d really welcome any other tips that you may have, or I shall be heading to the dump in search of scrap white goods shortly.


10 thoughts on “Cold store

    • If only it was too hot here Row… although I am loving this winter so far. It’s not been too cold and there have been some stunning frosts. I’d be happier still if we had a little snow… everything looks so bright and clean, and with the short, dark days it really lifts you. Hope all is well with you.

  1. I heard one potter say that freezing can improve the clay, once its thawed out! But I don’t know if this is true. Keeping it an old freezer sounds like a good, if possibly unattractive solution. I’m also looking for an outside clay store that’s frost proof, so It’ll be interesting to see if you get any other suggestions. E

  2. I think the old freezer sounds great, as long as you put a hasp and lock on it so a curios child cannot get stuck in it . If your clay freezes(i purposly freeze clay that has gooten to hard ) it will probably need to be wedged before you can throw with it . Good luck , i might actually try out the freezer bit ,as during the winter i have to drag all my clay into the house and store under the steps , a hassle but better than ice cold clay on my old hands

  3. I’ve got 200lbs in my closet. Even the garage gets too cold. Here in Georgia you dont think of cold temperatures but its about 10F at the moment. The refrigerator idea sounds excellent and I bet you could find a few that people would gladly let you haul away for free. I agree with the other poster about having to rewedge the clay after it freezes. The water sort of comes out of it and gives it a very inconsistent consistency. Good luck and keep us posted! 🙂

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