I had a nice talk with Little Rock potter Fletcher Larkin at Argenta ArtWalk last Friday night and learned this: He's looking for red clay.
Larkin was demonstrating at the potter's wheel in front of the Laman Library and talking about his use of Arkansas materials in his ceramic pieces. He uses ground novaculite from the 3M quarry in the Ouachitas, clay that fires up white from Acme Brick in Malvern, syenite from Granite Mountain and wood ash from Whole Hog Barbecue. He's using these materials for flux, to lower the firing temperature of the pieces, but the novaculite also makes a nice translucent white glaze, he said.
Now he's looking for a plentiful source of Arkansas red clay for his stoneware teapots and cups and bowls, which he sells from Fox Pass Pottery, his family's business in Hot Springs. This should appeal to locavores: Locally grown foods served on plates made from local dirt and rock!
Some of his work, photographed by Laman Library gallery coordinator Debra Wood: