Leir 7

Icelandic ceramic Icelandic pottery

Icelandic clay

Through long time periods, clay formates in the ground (both under and above water). Parts of Iceland were once below sealevel and when ceramic is made (burned clay) from Icelandi clay, salt precipitatoins become visual on the surface indicating that the clay was formed below sea level. In addition, the colour varies quite a bit on a dark red-brown scale that can be explained by high levels of iron that is one of the specialities of Icelandic clay.

Clay can be found around Iceland and local names often indicate existance of clay. It varies though how well it suits for ceramic and in Dalasýsla is one of the best known clay areas in Iceland but many areas are still unknown in terms of clay quality. The story of ceramic in Iceland is very short, in 1930 Guðmundur Einarsson from Miðdalur started to use Icelandic clay in his work and references do not indicate usage of the clay before which is interesting when compared to a long history of ceramics in general.

The clay is digged up on a farm, Ytri - Fagridalur on Skarðsströnd, by the farmers Halla Steinólfsdóttir and Guðmundur Gíslason that do the groundwork, i.e. dig and filter the clay in equal particle size.

Halla Steinólfsdóttir from Ytri - Fagridalur and Sigríður Erla, the founder of Leir 7.

At Leir 7, Icelandic clay is used in a form of claymass, molted in gips mould or in a traditional way. The clay is burned up to 1150°C, at that temperature the ceramic reaches its maximum strength.

Icelandic clay may also be used as enamel but Leir 7 produces cups of porcelain, glazed with Icelandic clay and burned at 1260°C which gives dark brown color and soft texture that suits drinking cups well. 

The ceramic contents from the Icelandic clay has been analyzed by Nýsköpunarmiðstöð Íslands and the results show it suits well for food cooking and containing.

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