These photos of Newdowns Sand and Clay Pits are from a beautiful series of shots taken by photographer and sculptor Daniel Scott. Situated on the seaward side of the granite uprising that is St. Agnes Beacon on the north coast of Cornwall, the pits have been worked for hundreds of years; certainly since the Middle Ages and probably since pre-Roman times. They are legendary amongst potters as the native clay is used as the base for a range of mid to high temperature clays, which have been made by the Doble family for generations. The clays are used for everything from sculpture to pottery to constructing dams, and have been the materials of choice for world renowned potters, including Bernard and Janet Leach, Richard Batterham and many others.
I've been using Doble's clay since I set up my studio, and Daniel was keen to photograph some of the people who use the pits, so one sunny and windy day we both ventured down there. As a sculptor, Daniel is familiar with the clay and once you've paid the quarry a visit, it's easy to become strangely intrigued by the elemental nature of the place. The future of the quarry can seem uncertain, but I'll continue to use the clay, in some way, as long as I can. Largely because visiting and exploring the area, where water, wind and clay come together, is always such a fascinating experience.