The Gritty Sibling of Mid Fire Black. 

Launching new additions to our clay families is always an exciting moment. One such addition that has been causing a stir among potters and sculptural artists is Dark Matter, born in 2022 as part of the Mid Fire Family formulated by Christopher James. With its unique properties and versatility, Dark Matter is quickly becoming a favorite choice for those seeking a textural alternative to Mid Fire Black with a little more strength and grit. 

Here is a brief snapshot of Dark Matter and why it has captured the hearts of many potters of all skill levels. 

Unveiling the Charcoal Black Beauty

Dark Matter's raw body is a dark chocolate pigment, which transforms into a captivating charcoal black with white flecks when fired at glaze temperature. This natural transformation makes it a popular choice for potters who appreciate the dramatic effect of exposing the unglazed body's texture and color. The resulting visual appeal is truly mesmerizing, adding depth and intrigue to any pottery creation.

A Multifaceted Gem for Artistic Expression

One of the most significant advantages of Dark Matter is its versatility. Positioned between White Raku and Special K in terms of texture, this clay offers a wider range of possibilities for both hand building and throwing techniques. Potters and sculptural artists are drawn to Dark Matter's ability to provide more strength and grit, making it an excellent choice for larger walls and throws.

Dark Matter's All-Round Glaze Fit

Despite its textural nature, Dark Matter displays a remarkable glaze fit. It harmonizes well with a broad range of commercial and homemade glazes, making it an adaptable choice for various artistic styles and preferences. However, it is essential to note that, similar to its sibling clay, Mid Fire Black, caution should be exercised when selecting clear glazes. It is advisable to avoid the use of zinc in any clear glaze to ensure optimal results.

Mid Fire Black's Sibling and the Duo of Dramatic Pottery

If you are already familiar with the Mid Fire Black clay, Dark Matter is its closest sibling, further expanding the family's artistic possibilities. As Australia's only pure black clay, this duo of clays is perfect for creating moody and dramatic pottery pieces. Whether you seek to add depth to your sculptures or evoke a sense of mystery in your vessels, the combination of Mid Fire Black and Dark Matter offers an unparalleled opportunity for artistic expression.

Its specifications are Shrinkage 12.5% and Absorption rate 1.54% with a Wet to Dry Shrinkage 4.5% and currently comes in 10kg bags. 

If you want to deepen your knowledge on the aesthetics and technical characteristics of working with this beautiful medium, see our MAKING WITH KEANE class, Australia’s first class dedicated to the love of clay. 


Image Credit: Chef Jason Roberts 

May 17, 2023 — Emma Barbato