The cutting and stacking of ‘turf’ or peat result in vernacular structures. The peat is cut in slices and laid out to dry before it is stacked for storing.

Some online images of turf structures




( Duncan MacDonald out at his peat cuttings near Gisla, Uig, on the Isle of Lewis

peat cutting

Peat stacked in neat, sturdy herringbone pattern, from Ness, Isle of Lewis {Outer Hebrides, Scotland}; photograph by Angus Mackintosh (

herringbone isle of lewis

Peat Cutting, Shetland Islands, Scotland, United Kingdom, Europe Photographic Print by Patrick Dieudonne at

peat shetland

There is vernacular language, tools, units of measurement and traditions surrounding the digging of peat.

There images are from showing tools and units of measurement

dartmore measurements.gif


My first idea is to begin cutting clay in a similar way as the peat was cut in repetitive slices, and left to dry before stacking.

  • wedge the peaty soil collected from Lenzie bog into commercial clay, run through pug mill and slice – round in section
  • slice clay straight from the packet into exact slices
  • could the slices of clay be taken onsite before drying to press mould objects and textures into?

I’ve found commercially produced peat fuel that I’m considering using as in the reduction phase of a raku firing. Or attempting a pit firing using peat.


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