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fw: question on blackbird slip

updated tue 28 oct 03


Mert & Holly Kilpatrick on mon 27 oct 03

A couple people have asked about obtaining Blackbird Slip. I had contacted
Hammill and Gillespie, and they sent me an explanation. I forwarded it to
Clayart but it was not posted. I was worried that I should have permission
from Hammill and Gillespie to put it on Clayart, so I asked them if it is OK
to post it. Below are two messages. First, from Dorna at H&G saying it is
fine to post the information, and Second, the information about Blackbird.

East Bangor, PA

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Monday, October 27, 2003 11:15 AM
Subject: Re: Question on Blackbird Slip

> The situation is unfortunately still as described in my original post.
> feel free to forward that or any summary you like to Clayart. Thanks.
> Dorna Isaacs
> Hammill & Gillespie, Inc.
Original message from Hammill & Gillespie, dated 9/29/03:

Hammill & Gillespie are the sole producers of Blackbird (also known as
Barnard) Clay so we are the "horses mouth." The crude ore is mined in the
middle of
a forest in PA. It is becoming more and more difficult to obtain the crude
- we must have a reasonable chunk of dry weather or the heavy equipment
cannot get through to the location of the clay. In addition, and perhaps
more to
the point, in all the years we have been producing Blackbird, only one
operation has been willing to process the crude ore. It is dirty, sticky
When we last were preparing to do a new batch of Blackbird, this mill raised
the price by almost $100 PER TON! This was a prohibitive increase. We tried
(unsuccessfully) to find another mill to process the clay for us. We are now
working with a ceramic engineer to come up with a formula using naturally
ocurring minerals to essentially duplicate Blackbird. If successful (and we
getting closer) we will be able to control the consistancy of a product that
previously "run of the mine."

I hope this clears up any rumors or misinformation.

Dorna Isaacs