Digby's studio and home are located on a five-acre property in Carlswald
at the head of a quiet valley between Johannesburg
and Pretoria in South Africa.
Both the house and the studio are thatched and enjoy a tranquil view
of the well-treed valley and
Johannesburg in the distance.
Digby makes his pots in three to four week cycles: two to three
weeks making the pots and the final week
glazing and firing. He starts by throwing the base sections of all the
pots he plans to make that week - usually
between 4 and 6 pots. If he is making a very large pot he will make only
one pot that week so that he doesn't
need to take it off his wheel.
Digby packs the kiln with the assistance of Watson Nyambeni who has worked
with him for the last 30 years. Very large pots are hoisted onto the kiln using a pulley and gantry system
120 cubic foot trolley kiln is fired using a specially developed
burner fuel. It takes about eighteen hours to fire to cone 13 (approximately
1380 deg Centigrade) and three full days to cool down sufficiently
to be opened.Digby uses very basic, traditional glazes with a high clay content, (tenmoku) and other saturated iron glazes, celadons, wood-ash and shino glazes) which are suited to reduction firing.
Approximately 12 pots are fired at a time - pots shrink by about 20% from when
they are thrown until they are fired.
Pots blend into the African veld at Digby's studio and below: views of pots in front of his studio
View from Digby's studio: dam and Johannesburg to the south in the distance.