People often pass me quick stories with materials. I remember and mis-remember glimpses, summarized below. I hope you’ll use these descriptions to get keywords to search more.

You might enjoy these links:
See how Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is using images and user-friendly narratives for some of their projects.
See videos of underwater eruptions from the 2006 submarine Ring of Fire expedition.
Learn about oceanographic research by University of Washington and John Delaney’s leadership, including his hosting of poetry about oceans.

Bermuda Rise – After telling WHOI (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution) writer, Lonny Lipsett that Bermuda Rise sediment is very colorful – deep reddish brown - in its fired and unfired forms he spoke of why . . . these are my notes in the guestbook. what I heard might not be what he said.

1947 – Maurice Ewing – Atlantis – two month cruise – Henry Stetson corer – turbidity currents – 1929 earthquake in Grand Banks – tsunami killed 50 in Nova Scotia. Phone company found turbidity currents. Landslides severed trans-Atlantic cables and triggered tsunamis – red-hematite from Portugal.

Bermuda Rise Knorr 191 Long Core Sea Trials - On August 28th, 2007 a cruise began, returning September 14th, during which time equipment in the making for many years was tested. Cores were successfully retrieved from deeper then ever before, and sediment from the very first, labeled CDH 10, was applied by people on the ship to an urn . . . history in the making.

Kane Fracture Zone –Eben Franks wrote this: from mid-Atlantic Ridge – Knorr 180 – 2. 23.5_ North and 45_ West. Cruise was Nov. 14 to Dec. 17th, 2004. 2000 to 3600 meters depth, age between 1.5 and 2.5 million years. Glop from rock saws, it will need to be sieved or made into a slurry. It is high in manganese. It has lots of peridotite, serpentine, basalt, and olivine gabbro. It is mostly volcanic in nature.

There is some carbonate in the form of forams and mudstone in the material too. C. Eben Franks said, “It has spent significant time in Hell, meaning that it is from rocks that were buried deeply within the ocean crust, under immense pressure and high temperature – the very crucible of ocean crust formation. Some of it is derived from rocks from the mantle of of the Earth, below the ocean crust . . . from the top of the magma chamber. The mantle is exposed at this location, which is called the Kane Megamullion.

. . . powerful magic may reside within . . . “ And a large platter can be seen in the Soft Earth On-line Store in the section called Platters and Plates.

Antarctica, a few small vials from four places that I mixed together with sediment given to me by Rebecca Gast from 4,000 meters water depth at 63° south 165° west. These came from Nathaniel B. Palmer cruise 99-01.

Bermuda Biological Station - via Maureen Conte. 31° 46' North, 64° 04' West. 4556 meters deep off the coast of Bermuda.

Charleston Bump - 31° 55' North, 79° 12' West. 220 meters water depth.

Norfolk Slope, east of Virginia Capes is where the Gulf Stream turns, just south of the Norfolk area, at Cape Hatteras, NC, according to WHOI’s Lloyd Kegwin.

Brazil Margin – Research vessel Knorr cruise 159-5 October 1998.

North Atlantic – Research vessel Knorr cruise 158-4. June/July 1998.

Mud Patch off Martha's Vineyard - According to Eben Franks, the mud from this 30 square mile area was like a channel marker when mariners from past times dropped lead lines for mapping depths. When they drew up this mud they knew they were close to Martha's Vineyard.

Costa Rican accrectionary prism.

Boston Harbor – near the airport is being monitored by the Marine Biological Laboratory, who gave me some samples; they are a lustrous, semi-metallic looking brown that is great under other matte glazes and by itself.

Titanic site: In an e-mail to Joan, Dave Wright wrote, “Please be careful when speaking of the source to be clear that it came from the seafloor adjacent to the wreck, not from any part of the vessel itself. Our mission there was to promote a “look, but don’t touch” international treaty!” Two bowls were commissioned by Dave Wright (see them in the "gallery") and one went to Bob Ballard from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. It was a thank you gift for his closing talk at their 75th anniversary symposium in autumn 2005.

Grand Bahama Banks, from cruise Knorr 140 in 1993. It was a site survey for the Ocean Drilling Program, and also resulted in collection of cores that generated followup proposals and papers.

Ceara Rise from research vessel R/V Maurice Ewing, cruise EW1992 on Sept. 3, 1992. 5° 32' North, 44° 2.3' West.

Emerald Basin is south of Nova Scotia. Coordinates: 43° 53' North, 62° 47' West.

Galleon’s Passage was from a Sea Education Association cruise.


Gakkel Ridge - July 1 to Aug 10, 2007. A few granules from 85° north 85° west, thanks to Lonny Lipsett and cruise of R/V Oden.

Bering Sea – United States Coast Guard Cutter Healy Cruise 02-02. Went to areas around Navarin and Pervenets Canyons, Bowers Ridge, Umnak Plateau.

Washington Margin - Thanks to scientists Tim Eglinton for this material from R/V New Horizon’s cruise, May-June 2001: 46° to 47° north, 124° to 127° degrees, off Columbia River.

Juan de Fuca Strait, thanks to Chris Griner who was on the Research Vessel Atlantis II during the July 2005 cruise.

Hydrate Ridge – according to WHOI physicist, David Dubois, the sample I have comes from the leg 204 preliminary report of the drilling vessel DV JOIDES Resolution that was working in the area from July 7 to September 2, 2003.

The mud was collected from a weight on the end of a wire used in an attempt to retrieve an ocean bottom seismometer deployed at 44° 34.129’ North, 125° 07.939’ West in 878 meters of water, that did not return to the surface. We were working off the RV Maurice Ewing (cruise EW0208) from April 12 – Sept. 6, 2002.

Farralon Islands - thanks to WHOI, and U.S. Geological Survey studies.

Eel River - Off the Washington coast, Eel River sediment R/V New Horizon May-June 2001: 40° to 41° north, 125° west.

Santa Barbara Basin

Gulf of California

Monterey Bay - thanks to John Klusmire on ships Smith Mac and Point Sur.

Hydrothermal P-vent at East Pacific Rise was given to me by Dan Fornari who told me that hydro-thermal vents are where magma makes new Earth crust. He asked me to use it on gifts for people he wanted to thank for help on deep submergence cruises, but who couldn’t go on them. Very metallic stuff – not glaze, but I use it to stain relief patterns in clay.

Lau Basin – in the south Pacific, taken on a cruise of a University of Hawaii ship. Tag on bag says D 54 MUD, Km 4-17. Seamount Lau Basin. Research Vessel's name is Kila Moana. Coordinates: 19° 45.45’ South, 175° 43.43” West.

Mediterranean – two sites:

1. Sediment taken from inside an amphora lifted from a Phoenician wreck off Ashkelon, Israel was analyzed for it’s chemistry (they were carrying wine) and was given to Sarah Webster, to use for testing the mud sucker-upper tool she designed. When Sarah left town she left me the sediment. Crunchy stuff shows up in it after firing, but lots of red and gold colors, assemble in well-branched patterns. Ships at the site are named Tannit and Elissa. The ship went down during latter half of 8th Century B.C.

2. Oceanus cruise in port 12/10/04. “We’re coming into Woods Hole today from the Med. I got some mud from the outflow of the Rhone River in France. Why don’t you come down to the ship today and pick it up. (e-mail from Courtenay Barber.) Some from an area being studied for geoclutter – where methane outgassing is fouling sonar – gas bubbles are like fog to submarines. Bowls glazed with this material are on porcelain clay, and are in the Small Bowls section of the Soft Earth On-line Store.

Dead Sea – sediment was taken from the shore in Israel. I found it tacked to a shingle outside my studio.

Red Sea – from a hot briny area within which individal samples vary extremely from mustard through iron red, burnt sienna, and umber colors. Some are heavily crystalline with salt chunks, which smell strongly of iodine. A book by Dave Ross called “Red Sea Hot Brine” was written about this place.

Indonesian Seaways - "Reconstruction of Indonesian Throughflow"
Baruna Jaya VIII cruise number BJ8-03 July 2003.

South Walvis Ridge.

Indian Ocean – From research vessel Atlantis II, cruise 93-7. It was released to me because Dick Norris knew there were a couple of meters of flow in, or disturbed sediment.

The first sample I got that was dated by visual inspection of the foraminifera and is said to be 35 to 40 million years old – from Eocene era. I include this info on pots when I use it, because people like that info – but I really don’t know how old the current sediment I use is because it came from imploded cores – every level could be a different age.

Black Sea – an anoxic environment and seasonal blooms make striking layers – photo of detail is used in the brochure I send with each piece, and on the main page of this website. Very fibrous material in the mud burns out and leaves little melted globs of glaze, with reddish salt blush on the clay in between . . . I only use this on some samplers and sets of plates, since I have very little.

Arabian Sea – the first most colorful patterned glaze I discovered. I have a very small amount, so I use it rarely.

To see pots that you can make your own, visit the Soft Earth Online Store.


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