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Archival Film: Crawdad Slip (Pottery)

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Location: Pennsylvania Pocono Mt Neutral-Acidic Elv1024ft AYR41in Zone 5b
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Crawdad Slip (1999) by Jim Sharkey (45 minutes) -,202

Sid's father, Jim, talks about the hard times of the 1930's and 40's when wood-fired kilns would 'bout burn yourself up, and handmade pottery had so little value that Jim finally gave up on it and took to raisin' hogs and chickens. But not before he made Sid a wheel and taught him the fundamentals of pottery. To quit making pottery was the practical thing to do for Jim. Even Sid acknowledged that - he left to join the Marine Corp in 1969, and later took up school teaching, although he continued to turn pottery part-time. However, after twenty-five years a growing interest in pottery allowed him to return to practice his craft full-time. Circumstances had favored Sid. Now he could raise his children as potter's sons.

We visit Sid's grandfather's old shop with the kick wheel still standing beside the dusty, cob-webbed window where Emerson Luck turned out milk crocks and churns for fifteen cents apiece. "This is a deserted place," Sid says, as he looks around the dark, damp barn and discovers some of the first jugs that he helped turn. "This is a two-gallon jug made by my grandfather", he says, holding up the brown,salt-fired jug. "They made these jugs to store cider in and when they were done with 'em the kids would break 'em for the heck of it. So there's not a lot of them around, I would think". We visit the clay hole where Sid still digs for native clay. And the stream where he stumbled upon his favorite glaze while watching his sons catch crawdads, a glaze he calls his crawdad slip.

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Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
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