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SunsetBay

Looking For A New Clay Body

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Help! I am looking for a new clay body. I need suggestions.

 

My goal is a ^5 or ^6 white clay (stoneware or porcelain) that:

1.  Fires a nice white, not yellowish or pinkish

2.  Is creamy smooth when wet

3.  Throws well, both small and largish

4.  Attaches (handles and such) without too much fuss (a little fuss is ok)

5.  Works okay for some handbuilding/slab work

6.  Reclaims well, without excessive hardpanning (and settles in water in such a way that I can end up with cleanish water that is safe to put down the drain)

 

Am I asking for too much? I’m not even mentioning anything about how it takes glazes, because that’s a whole other exploration.

 

Thanks in advance for any and all suggestions! (If you see this on more than one page or site, it’s because I’m casting this net as wide as I can.)

 

p.s. I've been using Standard 213, but the problem I'm having with hardpanning in the cleaning and throwing water buckets is driving me crazy.

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"Frost" Cone 6 porcelain by Laguna.

White, creamy smooth, throws well, attaches well, have used for slab work and coiling. Takes color well.

 

Cannot speak to the reclaim as I use my old clay for slips only. I think all clays lose something in the reclaim process ... but that is just my opinion.

I use it as a teaching clay ... so it is quite forgiving ... and am switching to it for my own work.

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Call Standard, discuss your needs, and ask for some reccommendations from them along with a few samples. They are really great people and will bend over backwards to satisfy a customer. I would be looking at 240 or 630. 240 is .5 more shrinkage, and 1 more in absorption. 630 is different, but throws well, even though it has a bit of tooth to it, other specs are similar to 213.

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To clarify: For cleaning, I use two buckets of water in the studio--one for the main cleaning, and one for a final rinse. I also have a system of buckets-inside-buckets that are supposed to spill clean water from the top after the water settles, until the stuff in the largest container drains right into my sink drain. I also have a small bucket of throwing water. What is happening with the Standard 213 is that the water barely settles out: Day by day, I get an increasingly thick layer of really hard stuff on the bottom (it requires serious elbow grease with a spackle knife to pry up) and cloudy water that doesn't look like anything I'd feel comfortable putting down the drain. My throwing water (and I try not to put actual hunks of clay in it or even, anymore, to scrape my hands off on the edge) turns into slurry in a few days--with the same hardpan on the bottom. Obviously the same thing happens to my splash pan. So cleaning is a pain--worse if I don't do it daily--and since I don't have a lot of time for pottery, the time needed for cleaning is starting to grate on me. This is what I am trying to avoid. I am open to any and all suggestions.

 

I'm less concerned about reclaiming, since these days I just rewedge collapsed pieces and overly wet clay, and I toss the dried bits into a slip container.

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Frost is great for everything besides the hard panning. That stuff hard pans within 24 hours in the slop bucket. You have to cut it out with a putty knife almost. I love frost though. It throws beautiful and comes out almost too white.

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Bmix5 is generally a wonderful clay; oddly, it is whiter than Bmix10, which is yellower.  It looks good under crystaline glazes and it handles very much like my all-time favorite body, Armadilo's Dillo White (C10), and is very happy at a hot C6, which is my normal mid-fire; I've been told that it isn't catastrophically slumpy at C10, which keeps you out of trouble if you fire at both temps.  My experience with Frost was not very good, but I just tried it once, so your mileage may vary.  Armadillo Clay's Cone 5 porcelain is cheap here in Houston and very pleasant to work with.  Not quite as white as Frost, and less translucent, but I like thowing it much more.  I feel like i get a little better sound from my wind gongs with it vs the Bmix5, but that may be psychological.  Both reclaim well in my enviornment, but i have different systems from yours.  Neither hardpan in my rinse bucket, though, and settle pretty well.

 

Armadillo's Cinco Blanco throws well, and I think it meets your requirements, but it is talc based and gray before firing, which I find psychically offputting.  Very white when fired, but my poor imagination just can't quite get comfortable with the before-and-after.  Cinco Rojo is a dark brown version that is very compaitble; it is excellent for agateware or contrasting attachments.

Chris Campbell likes this

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Plainsman Clay

M370 A great throwing body, amazingly smooth in texture. Can be used for hand building as well. Great for functional ware. Fires to a bright white color.  

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Hi,

I've used B mix, but really hate it for attaching handles. I find it to be fussy. The handles often crack when drying or in the kiln. I tried another white, it's like B mix, called Laguna #65? I think, I'm not home to see. It's much more forgiving.

Nancy

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Plainsman Clay

M370 A great throwing body, amazingly smooth in texture. Can be used for hand building as well. Great for functional ware. Fires to a bright white color.  [/size]

This one is good for showing colours off, though It's not a true porcelain white. Be mindful for s-cracks and handle cracks. It has similar properties to the b-mix, and is cheaper if you're north of the border.

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I emailed Standard but have gotten no reply as yet. Highwater will send me a free sample of Little Loafers if I pay for the shipping (as soon as they have some more mixed), which I will do. I think I know of someone I can ask about Sheffield. The hunt continues...

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little loafers is a marvelous clay but is a very faint ivory if glazed with a truly clear glaze and fired to cone 6.  sheffield may have some of elaine's white, originally made for elaine coleman from tom's recipe.  it is for cone 6.

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