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Qotw: Are You Afraid Of The White Gold?

Question of the week; porcelaine;

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#1 Evelyne Schoenmann

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Posted 03 March 2017 - 11:16 AM

Hi everybody

 

I apologize! I was so excited that my hubby drove me to my Italian studio last Tuesday, and that I could mount and descent a few stairs with my broken-then-fixed-foot, that I (shame on me) forgot the QOTW. Mea culpa!

 

We do an easy one this rest of the week, ok?

 

Are you afraid of working with porcelain? Tell us about your first porcelain throwing, your experience, your tips and hints for beginners etc.

 

Thank you and have a good rest of the week and a wonderful weekend

 

Evelyne


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#2 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 03 March 2017 - 01:26 PM

Glad to hear you are progressing with your foot.

I love porcelain. I don't mind going back to other clays like raku or stoneware of terra cotta, but my favorite is Coleman porcelain of ^6 Frost. next to them is Nara ^6 and ^10. I am about to try babu porcelain. On my way back from NCECA I plan to pick up some ^6 porcelain at Archie Bray. testing the local supply sources.
When I was a Junior in college in 1968,I made up a porcelain body and threw a teapot with over the top handle. It slumped in the ^9 firing to give it a very "relaxed" posture. My mother kept it for years. She thought it was very funny.

Marcia
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#3 oldlady

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Posted 03 March 2017 - 01:53 PM

love porcelain, used tom coleman and went to two workshops with him and elaine.  cannot fire to that temp so i gave it up except for exceptional circumstances.

 

have some frost and hope to use it soon.


"putting you down does not raise me up."

#4 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 03 March 2017 - 01:57 PM

I use it in my alternative firings. I usually don't fire to ^10 unless I am involved with a wood-firing, ...like this coming April.
Marcia
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#5 Roberta12

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Posted 03 March 2017 - 02:46 PM

I really like porcelain as well.  I liked nara 5 the very best but have now fallen in love with #16 from Laguna.  I use it for handbuilding and throwing!!!   Just loooovvvveee that smooth stuff!!! 

 

Roberta



#6 mdobay

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Posted 03 March 2017 - 03:34 PM

I have been throwing porcelain since I started. Love the purity of it and the creaminess.. I as my skills develop I uses less and less water and are now able to throw more complex forms, but still are humbled by its complexity lol



#7 dhPotter

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Posted 03 March 2017 - 04:00 PM

I touched it, once.

 

It felt like plumber's putty.



#8 MatthewV

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Posted 03 March 2017 - 04:02 PM

I have a box of it that I haven't used yet. I guess I am afraid of the white gold.


Make More Mistakes


#9 No Longer Member

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Posted 03 March 2017 - 04:11 PM

No, but I find thoughts of Vanilla Ice very disturbing! :lol:


Fit'in to hang this shizzle up fo' good....


#10 glazenerd

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Posted 03 March 2017 - 07:02 PM

I spent the first seven years working with porcelain: it was the clay I started with. Did not use stoneware until I bought a wheel late last summer. So stoneware is the oddball to me; and porcelain more user friendly.

 

I like making my own porcelain:


ClayGlaze interface

 

Translucency anyone?

 

Nerd



#11 What?

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Posted 03 March 2017 - 08:45 PM

After two years of potting I really started to experiment with all kinds of clay. Actually I wanted my work to look like I had been doing it for 20 years or so. There are no magic tools or clay unfortunately. I did not mind porcelain at the time other than it was not very forgiving. I have a heavy hand so what I found was the clay has to be just at the right stage to alter, trim, attach, etc... I quite frankly did not have the time or the patience to work with this clay body and set it aside. Being urged by Tom Coleman to use porcelain for my functional wares was a big part of this. It is only very recently that I resumed working in porcelain. I love it! Having good skill sets I feel has helped a lot in working with it. The cost of material is two to three times the cost of stoneware in my area. The glazes look so much better. I cant help myself to place it on my cheek. Sooooooo Smmooooth. I have not attempted any sectional pieces yet but I imagine they would be successful.  I also have noticed the trend of porcelain being used is rising over the last decade. At least from what I see published and posted. Maybe other potters with a lot more experience can confirm this? It also seems to command a higher price that is not proportional to the cost in materials. Maybe this is just how I see it. I plan on sticking with porcelain for a great while. I will not agree that is throws like cream cheese. That has not been my experience from the several types I've thrown with. It is a fabulous clay body to work with. If you have the ability to run porcelain in your studio/workspace give it a shot.



#12 bciskepottery

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Posted 03 March 2017 - 09:18 PM

White gold -- fool's gold.  I mostly use slaked down porcelain as a slip.  Have thrown some to say I've done so.  Stoneware guy, here . . . preferably dark colored clay. 



#13 LeeU

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Posted 03 March 2017 - 10:48 PM

I ain't scared. I rarely throw and am not exploring translucency yet, so my comments are specific to how I work. I use Cool Ice (^6) and love-love-love to bend it and crack it and carve on it and put holes in it and cut it and rip it and stamp it and leave it either raw or with just clear glaze, though it takes the commercial glazes I use (Coyote/Laguna/Amaco) just beautifully. Lately, I am fixated on simple white pieces, stamped, for things like business card/letter holders, pendants, and of course incense cone holders. Attached is one of my favorites. Attached File  0425161103a.jpg   77.91KB   0 downloadsAttached File  0124171556b.jpg   37.53KB   0 downloads 


Lee Ustinich

 

 

 

 

 

#14 GiselleNo5

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Posted 04 March 2017 - 12:12 AM

I think porcelain is beautiful and glazes look incredible on it, but I'm personally drawn to working with dark, earthy, rustic clay bodies so I don't see myself working with porcelain any time soon. 

 

The only reason I've ever even tried throwing with it is that my dad decided he wanted to learn to throw (from day one) using only porcelain. It was so hard for him. And so I thought I would throw a few things that he could glaze because he helps me out all the time, he builds things, has helped me set up my studio, lends me equipment. The list of how I could not run my business without my dad is endless. I even fire in his kilns.  

I felt pretty confident that I could throw porcelain. 

I did not wedge it. 

 

I used tons of water. 

 

It was horrible. 

 

Looking back it is hilarious that I approached it so unprepared but I really had no idea that what I was doing was stupid. I had been throwing with stoneware clay that was very tolerant, cutting it off the fresh block and skipping the wedge, slopping on huge handfuls of water, and I was succeeding doing this. To come up against porcelain was a rude awakening. I was sweating and foaming at the mouth after throwing four pieces successfully and scrapping another four. 

 

Later someone described throwing porcelain with too much water as "throwing with cream cheese" which was hilariously accurate, and they explained that you want to use as little water as possible. They also explained the importance of wedging. 

 

Still, until something changes about my work to give me a reason to work with porcelain, I don't plan to use it. There's no draw for me. But two years ago I thought I was going to make all my designs in white clay and now 75% of my work is in any color but white, so ... you never know. 


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#15 GiselleNo5

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Posted 04 March 2017 - 12:19 AM

Oh, I completely forgot that I am fascinated by the translucence and I have thought about playing with slip-cast porcelain. I have read about "rice" porcelain and I want to try it for candle holders. 

 

See, what did I tell you. Never say never. 


I create order from chaos. And also, chaos from order.

 

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#16 Evelyne Schoenmann

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Posted 04 March 2017 - 05:32 AM

Hi everybody

 

It is interesting that most of us like porcelain: the translucency, the whiteness, the "haughtiness" (sic!), but that quite a few are reluctant to try. I myself came late in my ceramist life to throw with porcelain. I was throwing stoneware and loved it. I always heard saying that throwing porcelain is like throwing Mozzarella, or like "cream cheese" (haha Giselle!), so I didn't try it for a long time. When I finally started to throw with porcelain it was with Southern Ice, the Australian porcelain, and it was love at first site! Since then porcelain is my favorite material and, like Marcia, I also pit fire porcelain objects. Southern Ice is for high fire, Cool Ice is for cone 6, but it's not the same throwing with Cool Ice instead of Southern Ice!

 

Yes to all the tip and tricks I've read here: don't use too much water (and put some vinegar in the water!). Let the object dry very slowly. Turn the object every day while drying. Kiln: go up vey slow.

 

For all the ones that never tried it: have faith, have courage, try it just the once, just for the fun of it!

 

Happy weekend!

 

Evelyne


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#17 RonSa

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Posted 04 March 2017 - 08:10 AM

It must be wonderful to have studios in both Switzerland and Italy.

 

I have a bit of stoneware to go through yet and plan on buying some porcelain with my next clay purchase. Looking forward to it.


Ron


#18 rakukuku

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Posted 04 March 2017 - 02:33 PM

Well I am strictly a hand builder and sculptor of animal figures. I used to raku a lot so porcelain was only for small figures and I could get plenty white with b mix with grog. 

 

But lately I am high firing most stuff and the b mix has a grayish tone in reduction and I like a more pure white. Not for translucency - just using under glazes and clear or other glazes, all at cone 10.

 

So I have started using Dave's porcelain from Laguna. My pieces are all pinched and hand formed and I abuse my clay a lot - pushing it around and changing positions of part of it to get what I want. The B mix accepts this easily. Porcelain not so much but the Dave's does it about the best. But I still have to be more careful and really dry slow to avoid cracking. So I guess I am not scared of it but respectful and cautious. I still like the feeling of the b mix better 

 

We do have a new opaque white glaze called Butter White that may get me what I want on the b mix. We shall see. 

 

If anybody knows a good porcelain for hand building I'd love to hear about it.  


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#19 Chris Campbell

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Posted 05 March 2017 - 11:46 AM

I use Laguna's Frost for my workshops ... it is pretty forgiving for the rushed work of building/drying/firing in a week long workshop so that recommends it pretty well as a hand building porcelain.
For translucency though, it's hard to beat my "Diva" clay ... Southern Ice. Not a clay to be hurried or ignored.
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#20 Diesel Clay

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Posted 05 March 2017 - 12:02 PM

I *can* work wth porcelain, and I fully appreciate the aesthetics of it. I just prefer working with clay that feels like ...clay. I love the things that iron does, and I like working with the properties inherent in my material, rather than against them. I want to embrace the grit and the beauty in "impurities."





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