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Finding stoneware or mid/highfire clay

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I've been able to find clay in nature with high amounts of iron oxide in it, and I was wondering which places would be best to search for clays that are low in iron so that I will be able to high fire it and try out a salt glaze without having my clay melt on me.

I'm 25 and enjoy working with clay in my down time, but money is tight and I prefer to find and process my own clay to save money. 

I would greatly appreciate any advice.


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Once you calculate the cost of going out and finding and getting the clay (gas, etc), the equipment for processing it, etc, I think you'll find that you really won't be saving all that much, and will be spending more of your time digging clay and running tests, not making things. It's rare that a single clay out of the ground will work for making things, so you'll have to be blending with other clays and feldspars and grog/sand that you'll have to buy, running lots of tests, etc. If what you really want to do is make pots, not process and test clay, then just buy some moist clay. To make it last longer, only keep the best pieces, recycle the rest.

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High iron clay (USA) runs from medium brown, dark grey, to red in color. As the iron levels decrease, the color becomes light tan to almond in color. The one exception is light to medium gray color: which is lower iron, but higher in organic carbons and magnesium.

Every State has a Dept. Of Natural Resources, or perhaps a Dept. Of Mines within it. Most have regional maps of mineral deposits: which include high iron, coal, and/or other minerals. Once you identify those general deposits, limit your search to areas ( counties) outside of them.

some people enjoy the search and discovery: go explore!


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