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Dear colleagues, I have to make a decision as I could have a Venco Super Twin in a few days here in my studio what would normally take months to be delivered and I have a big order of lots of plates to throw. In my research about pugmills I have come as far as that I think I have to decide between buying a Peter Pugger vpmss20 and a Venco Super Twin, both stainless steel and de-airing. I throw porcelain and run a studio production, means around 2 tons a year, getting more (sorry, I'm not a native speaker)... I'll need it in the first place for replacing the wedging of new porcelain clay as I find this extremely power- and timeconsuming for production. I let the wet material dry a little bit down to have a stiffer clay for throwing thin bigger pots. That means the clay has stiffer parts outside from the drying and softer ones inside even if I dry it slowly under a soft fabric to avoid too fast drying. I hope such a machine could mix and de-air it for having a homogen porcelain body ready for throwing. That's what I intend mainly. To reclaim crap is also an idea but not really important as I can sell trimming crap for a small money to someone who re-uses it for small sculptures. i know in stoneware de-aired clay is a gorgeous thing for throwing, but porcelain is different and it seems to absorb air whenever possible so the vacuum effect might be a problem? What I have heard about the Peter Puggers: Some potters have problems with porcelain coming out with no plasticity. Also heard a rumour that the pugging chamber of the PP is too short for good de-airing. The advantage of PP seems to be that the clay can be stiffened or dried down easily and that any stiffness doesn't seem to be a problem at all as the mill is very strong so it won't stop with stiffer clay. About the Venco: the twin spiral shall have a quite well mixing effect but the de-airing pump shall also not be so good. Another disadvantage of the Venco is that I heard it stands still if the clay is too stiff and you have to open it to pull the clay out before going on with softer clay. I'm afraid I will have spent so much money to have small air bubbles in my fired ware what must be quite horrifying and / or that I have a machine that stops when i put a bit stiffer clay for bigger pots into it. It would be SO GREAT if anyone working with porcelain with these machines could share his/her experiences... thanks so much, claude
Hi All, The studio where I work collects everyone's throwing slop in large garbage barrels to reclaim into clay for youth programming and drop-ins. The clay is feeling like it's met its limit in terms of reclaim cycles and the kids are finding the clay impossible to work with. The clay is very fibrous, tears easily and lacks elasticity. I'm thinking about adding dry ball clay and vinegar to the mother barrels to bring the dead clay back to life. Will this work? Is it worth my time? How much of each to add? Should I add something different? I'm fearful that mixing in ball clay will throw the chemical composition way off and will leave us with clay that doesn't fit our glazes. The current reclaim is a mix of four ^6 Laguna bodies (90, 66, 55 and 16) and lots of the cyclically recyled clay. Any help will be greatly appreciated. Chris