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Joseph F

Sio-2 Clay - Porcelain(Black) - Black Ice

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Has anyone tried this clay brand?

 

http://www.sio-2.com/us/black-ice---black-porcelain/subfamily/93

 

The clay itself in person was beautiful. My supplier told me that it was colored via Iron Oxide to get the color that it is fired, however there is no MSDS on their website about what is in the clay itself. I have contacted them about it but I am waiting on a return. Does anyone know anything about the brand?

 

I was going to buy a bag and give it a shot, but they were sold out. Won't get more until April. However US-Pigment is carrying it, so I wouldn't mind paying for the shipping for a single bag to try it out, but I want to know where the color comes from before I spend a dime.

 

I guess this question is mostly aimed at you people in Europe.

 

The stats I understand on the clay is impressive. I hope it is accurate cause I can't imagine/fathom having a porcelain body that has that much iron in it and the beautiful things it would do to the glazes I use.

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I was taught that adding iron oxide to a body is the worst way to get iron in a body, that it tends to make it brittle.

 

I think that the worker at the ceramic shop doesn't know what is really in there, I think they are just guessing. I don't know much about clay formulation, but I figured something like you said might have been the case. 

 

I am waiting on an email back from the company. They are Italy based. So as soon as I get a reply I will make a decision on testing it. They posted numbers on the strength of the clay on their website, but I don't understand what they mean. I am hoping to just get an MSDS from them. I asked for one, but who knows if they will supply it.

 

Firing range: Cone 6-7 (2269º-2295ºF)

Biscuit: Cone 06 (1855ºF)

Water content: 20%

Plasticity (IP Atterberg): 11

Carbonate content (CaCO3): 0%

Drying shrinkage: 5.4%

Firing shrinkage at Cone 6: 10.3%

Porosity (water absorption) at Cone 6: 0.0%

Dry bending strength: 3.1 N/mm2

Fired bending strength at Cone 6: 39.8 N/mm2

Thermal coefficient (a25-500ºC): 54.3x10-7ºC-1

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did you notice that they are going to be at NCECA?  ask someone who is going to bring you some or get some to mail.  the samples must be small.  look at their home page and the NCECA info.

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Yea I saw that. I don't know anyone personally going to the NCECA. I wish I did, but I don't. I am more than happy to buy an 11# bag from us-pigment, it isn't that I can't get it. It is that I just don't want it if it contains manganese for the coloring. If it really is some type of iron colorant, I want to try it. If it is colored via stain then I also don't want to use it. I don't understand why there isn't a clear MSDS on the website for the clay.

 

I wish I was going to the NCECA. I think in the future I will be going to a lot more events, but probably not until after 2020. It is exciting to think I will get to meet a lot of you all.

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I don't really want a stained body as I imagine getting it that black would be expensive and I assume that stain would come out into the glaze, and not how I want it to. I am hoping that the staffer was right and it is some type of iron based coloring agent. Most of all the glazes I like look 75%+ better on a body with iron in it. So getting the benefit of a porcelain body to throw with potentially the iron characteristics included could be enjoyable and something that I could learn to love. 

 

However I have my doubts. That is why I am on here instead of just ordering some and trying it. I was hoping Marcia or Evelyne might know more about it since they have traveled these areas before. I actually saw a picture of Marcia on Sio2's website! haha. 

 

They also have a blue porcelain !: http://www.sio-2.com/us/upsala---blue-porcelain/subfamily/95

 

One thing I will note about the two different porcelains is that the black ice is labeled at safe for food (suitable for tableware (food-safe), according to ISO 6486:1999. ). But this only for lead and cadmium. So that has nothing to do with manganese. Which the staffer said that since it is labeled food safe, it can't have manganese in it. I dont think she understood the ISO food safe label properly.

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Nerd do you mean about the clay strength stats or the question of how it gets its dark color?

 

Cause I am more than happy to get an explanation of those strength numbers and how good they are.

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Water content: 20%                                             Porcelain typically runs in the 22-24% range: so this is low comparatively.

Plasticity (IP Atterberg): 11                                   11 on the Atterberg Plasticity index) is considerd low plasticity.  (30 is high plasticity)

Carbonate content (CaCO3): 0%                           common for porcelain bodies.. no big deal.

Drying shrinkage: 5.4%

Firing shrinkage at Cone 6: 10.3%

Porosity (water absorption) at Cone 6: 0.0%

Dry bending strength: 3.1 N/mm2 bending strength at Cone 6: 39.8 N/mm2

Thermal coefficient (a25-500ºC): 54.3x10-7ºC-1

 

Assuming they listed drying and firing shrinkage separately: the total shrinkage would be 15.7% The typical average for porcelain generally runs in the 13.5% range. Taking this shrinkage rate, adding in the water content: and finally the 0.0% absorption rate gives me some indication of formulation.

 

Kaolin only holds water on the face of the platelet: it does not absorb water. So they add more water to increase plasticity: the reason you see higher water content ratings. Secondly, bentonite is the most commonly used plasticizer: it can hold 3 times it's weight in water: further adding plasticity. The higher water content, coupled with bentonite additions is what produces the higher shrinkage rate of porcelain.

 

In this case you have lower water content and higher shrinkage: why?  In this case, either a sub micron ball clay, or polymer plasticizer was used: or a combination thereof. I am going to go with sub-micron ball clay for two reasons: the first is the lower water content. Polymer plasticizers can hold up to four times it weight: even more than bentonite. If either of these two  were used, the water content would be higher. Sub micron ball is more in line with the water content: but is also the reason for the 0.0% absorption. At cone 6, sub micron particles would need to be in the 15-18% range to completely seal the body: coupled with finer mesh silica and higher feldspar.

 

The COE value of 54.3x10-7ºC-1 is shown in it's mathematical formula: you just need to X out 54.3x10-7ºC-1, to know its 5.43. Typical porcelain runs 5.75 to 6.00 with bentonite and higher feldspar content: which also indicates to me ball clay was used because of this lower value.

 

Dry bending strength: 3.1 N/mm2;              is what we call green strength. This number is on the low side.

Fired bending strength at Cone 6: 39.8 N/mm2:             is what we refer to as MOR  (modulus of rupture.)  decent number.

 

The black color is from one of 2 things ( my assumptions).  it is from magnetite: a naturally occurring iron mineral which is black in color.  if memory serves, Italy has a lot of black sand on its beaches: and it could have been milled down for use in ceramics. I think black sand is lodestone, which is also iron bearing.

 

My thoughts on the matter anyway.

Nerd

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Wow man. You just rocked it out. Thanks for the detail. All in all it sounds like the body is sorta meh, but probably just about as good as any broad commercial body.

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joseph, this is the week of NCECA.  doesn't mean much except that your answer will not be coming until the person who knows the answer returns from NCECA.  just wait a few days and try again.

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I got an email back today from their US Representative(really helpful guy). He said the body is colored via oxides and stain. It has no manganese and is AP cert. So sounds like it's worth giving a try. I will report back after I have thrown it and fired it.

 

Found some pictures of the clay body in action: 

 

il_570xN.1120040418_4l0l.jpg

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As promised updates:

 

Got my 11#'s of black ice in today. I have to say, it is super soft. So soft that I almost want to wedge out balls and let them sit for an hour or so before I use it. I have never seen any clay this soft out of the bag. Compared to my usual clay this is a sweet dream. My normal stuff requires a lot of strength to use when using large amounts. A baby could throw this sweet soft marshmellow clay. 

 

I failed 3 times to throw a simple cup, because I was so used to forcing things and depending on the stiffness of my past clays.  

 

So nice being able to center the clay with minimal effort. I am not sure if I am happy with how wet the clay is or not. Only time will tell. I wont throw any more with it until I have fired some glazes on it to see how it goes.

 

Here is the best 2 I made. I made 5 pots in total. I will update again when glazed and fired.

 

IMG_20170325_145651-225x300.jpg  IMG_20170325_145708-225x300.jpg

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before i read this, i saw the photos and thought you had already glazed them blue.   what a color!  

 

love soft clay as long as it allows me to handle it without sticking to my hands.  sounds good so far, can't wait to see the final product.

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Further updates. Clay dries fast like most porcelains do. I trimmed them the next day and they were a bit dry for my taste. I prefer the clay right at leather hard for trimming.

 

If you want to see the results they are on my website. Don't want to spam pictures here. 

 

Probably bisque tomorrow and glaze mid week. 

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I have to say, it is super soft. So soft that I almost want to wedge out balls and let them sit for an hour or so before I use it. I have never seen any clay this soft out of the bag

Then there has to be more than the 20% water content than stated in the specs.  Sounds like you are well above 25%.  The only other explanation would be a boat-load of plasticizers.

 

Nerd

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I've messed around a little with Plainsman's Polar Ice, it comes extremely wet also. This is from their website and the reason behind mixing it so wet. No clue if this is the same reason for your black porcelain being so wet but I was wondering if you dried it out a bit more if it would actually increase the plasticity like the Polar Ice does. Did they let you know which stain they are using for part of the black colour? 

 

"Polar Ice has extremely high plasticity (to properly pug it we must run it too soft). Others claim to be plastic, but they use the word in a relative sense (meaning a little less flabby than that other really flabby porcelain). Do not attempt to use Polar Ice if it is too soft (stiffen it before use to experience its full plasticity). To reduce the water content wedge it and flatten down onto a very clean plaster table or large bat (or you may be able to leave a lump under a cloth over night or longer).

The most prominent side effect of the plasticity is its stickiness, this body is extremely sticky. It will stick to your hands, to the table, to the cutting wire, anything that touches it. During trimming it will stick back to itself and tools. If you attach ware to the wheelhead with water to trim, it will stick fast there also. After trimming it balls up under your fingers if you attempt to round corners by pressing on them. However if you stiffen the body to optimal throwing stiffness, it will be much less sticky."

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Min reading that and the entire story of the polar ice on the website is very similar to what I experienced. I ended up wedging the bag and then cutting it into balls and letting it sit out while I was throwing. Seemed the make the process easier. The only thing different is that he mentions it being hard in the box, but blackice wasn't like that at all. It was soft.

 

I tell you what though, having clay that soft is amazing when your making plates. I have been struggling with this hard highwater clay and I made a plate with the black ice, sooo easy. I will make sure next time I make plates to soften up my highwater clay before, because it was a 0 strain affair doing it with black ice. 

 

Hopefully I can stop using highwater if my glazes come out nice on this blackice! Got some in the bisque now and I have some tiles drying under a fan, that I am going to single fire with the bisque ware to see if I can get away with not having to bisque anymore. Since I spray I really have no need for bisquing, besides my stoneware being full of crap that needed to be burnt out. Time will tell. I will keep updating.

 

Thanks for the article.

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joseph, good luck single firing.  it takes longer, add a preheat to your schedule.

 

I plan on using a preheat and a slow ramp. I would rather it take a few hours longer on a glaze firing then to have to do the whole bisque process + loading unloading.

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I've messed around a little with Plainsman's Polar Ice, it comes extremely wet also. This is from their website and the reason behind mixing it so wet. No clue if this is the same reason for your black porcelain being so wet but I was wondering if you dried it out a bit more if it would actually increase the plasticity like the Polar Ice does. Did they let you know which stain they are using for part of the black colour? 

 

"Polar Ice has extremely high plasticity (to properly pug it we must run it too soft). Others claim to be plastic, but they use the word in a relative sense (meaning a little less flabby than that other really flabby porcelain). Do not attempt to use Polar Ice if it is too soft (stiffen it before use to experience its full plasticity). To reduce the water content wedge it and flatten down onto a very clean plaster table or large bat (or you may be able to leave a lump under a cloth over night or longer).

The most prominent side effect of the plasticity is its stickiness, this body is extremely sticky. It will stick to your hands, to the table, to the cutting wire, anything that touches it. During trimming it will stick back to itself and tools. If you attach ware to the wheelhead with water to trim, it will stick fast there also. After trimming it balls up under your fingers if you attempt to round corners by pressing on them. However if you stiffen the body to optimal throwing stiffness, it will be much less sticky."

 

What a joke! I'm supposed to take the time to dry out my clay every time I buy it? What about my students? They have to take it home and dry it out? Or I have to set out 1000 pounds of clay to get it ready for them? It's the mixers job to sell me clay I can use. If I wanted to mess with this I'd mix my own clay.

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