The wonders of wild clay with Musta James of the Kindred Workshop

11 August 2023 

Slow Crafters 

We are on a quest to spread the joys of a slower, more conscious way of life. Like a thread running through our Slow Living Journal, we plan to document and interview slow crafters who share our belief in the value of mindful living and creations. By sharing our audience with our fellow slow crafters, we hope to inspire.

I sat down with slow crafter Musta of the Kindred Workshop to hear a little more about the art of foraging for wild clay and sculpting beautiful pieces of mindful jewelry. Musta really feels like a kindred spirit (no pun intended) - through searching for a deeper connection to our wild spaces and herself, Musta has forged a thriving business that truly inspires.

Hey, I’m Musta and I run the Kindred Workshop.

I’ve always had a fascination with clay but it wasn’t until I lost my job in 2020 that I had more free time to explore my craft. During this time I started making earrings for myself, and in the space of a few weeks, my lockdown hobby turned into a small business!

Making handcrafted clay earrings re-awakened my love of all things clay so I decided to start making and selling hand-thrown and hand-built mugs too. I now make pottery in small batches from my little home studio. It brings me so much JOY transforming lumps of clay; and crafting them into beautiful, unique, and functional pieces for your home.


Adventures in nature

What inspired your love for slow-made clay items and what is it about working with wild foraged clay that appeals to you?

I take a lot of inspiration from nature’s seasonal beauty. I’ve always been drawn to hand-formed ceramics with imperfect and organic shapes. I spend a lot of time adventuring in the woods, road-tripping to wild spaces, and finding rivers to dip in. Whilst out on these adventures I often find wild clay to use in my pottery. It’s a very slow and mindful process. Working with foraged clay is quite magical as it enables me to create pieces that feel connected to the earth and to places that I love.


Hands in earth - connection

How does it make you feel when you are working with clay wild clay compared to commercial clay?

Well, it’s a lot slower working with wild clay because a lot of the time it requires processing to ensure that it will survive the kiln. So a lot of love and patience is required to carry out those extra hours of work. It’s always an adventure when I forage for clay. So I end up feeling really attached to each wild clay piece as they all hold stories of adventures in nature.

Rustic, free-form pieces from wild foraged clay

What advice would you give someone inspired by your work and wants to give it a go?

My advice would be to play! Even if what you create isn’t perfect, foraging can be such a beautiful, slow, and therapeutic process that begins by simply walking in nature and seeing what you find. You’ll often find that you come away with more than just the thing you were foraging for but with a deeper connection to and appreciation of the world outside.

Do you have any tips and tricks for beginners and any information about things to be mindful of when out foraging for wild clay?

Of course, you should always be respectful of private land and ask for permission before digging. Some people look at geological maps online to help source clay-rich areas. Practice an honourable harvest and only take just enough for what you need ensuring that you allow the land to continue flourishing. But my main advice is to keep an eye out and have fun.

Coming away with more than I foraged for

Where can we find your beautiful slow-crafted clay?

You can find my creations on my website -

I also love to take people along with me on the journey and share the stories behind my work too. You can watch all of that on:

YouTube - Everything Kindred

Instagram - @thekindredworkshop

TikTok - @thekindredworkshop

Interview by Ruby Watts-Jones.

Musta wearing our Gorse Maerl Dress, Delphinium Blue Wrap Skirt, and Turmeric Wrap Top.

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