Which means, you may like red iron clay, that turns dark when firing up to your favourite temperature, you may like the softer white clay that won’t scratch your hands when throwing on the wheel, or the one that does scratch your hands, definitely, but you’re using it to build up forms so you won’t bleed when working.
The list of tools and materials needed and wanted can go on hopelessly and endlessly, but coming to a point: where does Berliner potters buy their raw material? The other day, thanks to a precious suggestion, I discovered Spedition Börkey.
This is actually only the warehouse of the shop, so you won’t find everything in here. But I was too curious to let it go, and once again I found myself near Yorkstraße. If you look from the bridge on Monumentenstraße, you will see: in front of you the Fernsehturm, the Sony Center, all those weird skyscrapers, the trails of the S-Bahn and of the regional trains; on the right side, a pretty biergarten; on the left, grass, trees, shacks, shacks, and an abandoned fridge.
I can already tell that the biergarten is almost perfect, but those shacks, what exactly are they supposed to be? It seems like somebody is living there, or used to. It seems like it is a car deposit, or used to. It seems like there is something else, and this something else happens to be an abandoned sofa and, here we are, the warehouse of Börkey Keratech.
As I arrive, the man working there (slightly surprised) asks me how he can help me and is patient enough to wait for my brain finding the words “Ton und Werkzeug”. He nicely guides me to the deposit, an old building (maybe a farm?) where tons and tons of clay rest on the shelves. Amazing. Like a rough wunderkammer, with the sound of the trains passing by. I cannot just point at one package, and hope it is the right one. I think I’ll have to come back when I’ve made up my mind. He explains that the tools are to be found in the shop, in this old building there is only place for clay and a couple of other objects.
I often wondered what this old-fashioned “Spedition Börkey” sign, hanging on an iron gate, could lead to. Ten minutes after, I’m on my way home and in my hand I’m holding a dark yellow catalogue, the name Börkey Keratech on it, to be studied in details.