|Monthly Tech-Tip |
In the spring this is what you will see to the north (near Ravenscrag, Saskatchewan on the south road to Eastend). The Whitemud clays are clearly visible. The amount of overburden makes it difficult to find minable sections, so Plainsman Clays mines on the opposite side where gently rolling hills fall to the valley bottom. On that side there are no outcrops, these white layers are largely hidden and can only be discovered by exploratory digging. But on this side they are easily accessed and can readily be sampled. This is the exact location where the Whitemud clays were first discovered for pottery in the early 1900s, there are actually some mineable sections on the front hills to left. I-XL brick mined clay here for many years. This is also the site of a mine for the former Medalta Potteries.
Eastend, Saskatchewan hosts the incredible T.rex Discovery Centre. It hosts Scotty, the world's largest T.rex. The building is an architectural marvel and the exhibits are on par with anything else where. The building is actually embedded into the hillside in the same geological layers in which the fossilized skeleton was found, the Battle Formation (just above the Whitemuds that are mined by Plainsman Clays). If you ever get a chance to drive from Ravenscrag to Eastend take the south road for the most dramatic views. Do it in the spring when the grass is green. The sheer scale of the valley, the land formations and the countless outcrops of the Whitemud clays will amaze. At Eastend, have a meal at Jack's Cafe, you won't be disappointed! Then go and see Scotty.
Whitemud Formation at Wikipedia
Brick-making is surprisingly demanding. Materials blending and processing, forming, drying and firing heavy and thick objects as fast as possible are like no other ceramic manufacturing challenge.