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where can I buy clay?

(10 Posts)
Katherine Wed 06-Jul-05 18:02:09

Help! I need clay for a well-dressing on Saturday. Anyone know where you buy such things in bulk? Live in Derbyshire - not a great selection of shops round here. Hoping to do mail order?

philippat Wed 06-Jul-05 18:32:31
in Stoke so not so far from you (but also do online)

starlover Wed 06-Jul-05 18:43:24

what's a well-dressing???????

Katherine Fri 08-Jul-05 14:27:43

A well-dressing is an old tradition in Derbyshire dating back to pagan times which gives thanks to the well for supplying water. A well-dressing usually lasts for a week. The well is sealed for this time with the well dressing mounted in its place. The dressing itself consists of a frame - pretty big, often the size of a door (we are doing 4ft by 4ft as there are only a few of us and its our first one). The frame is coverd in clay and then you create a picture using flower petals, leaves etc. The pictures are amazing.

Although they are usually religious, many are not. I've seen ones with images of mountain rescue, Battle of Trafalger, peter pan, all sorts. We are planning to do the view looking across our bridge and down the river.

We are doing it because it sounds like good fun and the children love craft activities. It seems a good idea to combine this with learning an old tradition. We will have a bit of a party when we put it up and celebrate water ina non religious way. DS (6) is bouncing with excitement about it all.

Just need the clay now. At least the weather forcast is good

More info , and pictures

hunkermunker Fri 08-Jul-05 14:30:10

Oh, lovely! Remember seeing well dressings when I went to Derbyshire as a child - gorgeous! Have fun!

starlover Fri 08-Jul-05 14:40:14

wow... some of those are fantastic! hope it all goes as planned!

Katherine Fri 08-Jul-05 15:41:44

Hmmm not so far. Out of 6 cottages 3 lots have disappeared for the weekend to festivals and I've still not got the clay. The link below will do it but it will be expensive. Most of the wells just use stuff dug out of a local field. But there doesn't seem to be any clay round here. Anyway I'm off to pin a notice on the church noticeboard in the next village to see if anyone spots it and can help.

Might end up making on out of play dough at this rate

hunkermunker Fri 08-Jul-05 16:21:20

Whereabouts are you Katherine? My ancestors are from Eyam (they survived the plague there).

philippat Fri 08-Jul-05 16:23:31

Katherine, try ringing potclays and asking if they'll sponsor you

Katherine Mon 11-Jul-05 17:17:11

We are near Buxton Hunkermunker - Eyam is about 20 minutes away. Lovely place.

Philipatt - Wish I'd thought of that this morning. I ended up driving over there. Got stuck in roadworks and then got lost and spent 2 hrs driving round stoke. Aghhh! Horrible. Cost £20 in the end so not too bad and I think we've got loads so can save some for next year. Got home to an email from one of the quarries saying they were digging out a clay pit! Wouldn't you just know it. Still we will be more organised next year.

The frame is made, painted and sitting in the river. We will be puddling the clay tonight (that means jumping on it in bear feet - so should be a good evening.

Thanks for all the help.

Anyone near Buxton next weekend please come and see it finished. We are at the start of the monsal trail - the Buxton end. A lovely walk in its own right. Buxton has also got its well-dressings up at the moment.

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