Daily mythology: Kaolin

venusdolnyvestonice
Venus of Dolny Vestonice, Czech Republic, about 25 000 years old, from burned clay
 
Let’s begin with Adam and Eve. The legend says, that god created men from clay (He had a bit left and made the palm-tree and the camel too). Clay is one of the three main materials of our earth, besides sand and chalk or lime (the chemists among you might know: Sand: silicium, clay: aluminum, chalk: calcium. The Jimi Hendrix-fans know „Castles out of Sand“, teachers among us work with chalk)). Sand tends to the air, is airy in sandstorm, quick sand or dune, chalk is in same time heavy and hollow, full of caves. In millions of years it settled down from various seafood-shelves, and still we feel a kind of longing to be animal again, if we dwell in chalk-mountains (Selma Lagerlöf described it in her worldwide known book „Nils Holgerson“, when she wrote about Öland). Clay is fertile, watery, sticky and in same time important as a building material. The eldest houses are made of clay (and straw). Burned it becomes brick, and what would we be without bricks? In same time bowls, mugs and all kind of dishes are made of clay. The potter remembers Adam & Eve: ancient amphoras show human forms, have head, eyes, mouth, tummy, penis and vagina. On clay-like earth we grow our cereals, our vegetables, our fruit, in clay-vessels we store cereals, wine, honey or sauerkraut
Now the most aristocratic clay is kaolin. It’s name comes from China, there we find the village Gaolin, The legend says, that in China they found kaolin underneath the earth in human shape *smile*. We can burn it to, and we get the most beautiful porcelain (or „chinaware“, as we used to call it). A white earth: how wonderful!
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