Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Deidre Haignere

Do you have a favorite clay body? | June 12, 2012

Recommended Posts

Do you have a favorite clay body? Stoneware (light or dark), porcelain, terra cotta? Do you work with more than one clay body? Why did you choose the particular clay you use?

 

I work with two bodies, one that I make and one that I buy. I use stoneware for most of my work, but every now and then I want porcelain for its wonderful qualities (despite its difficulties); I buy it.

 

 

Diana Pancioli

Potters Council Board Member

dianamp@comcast.net

dianapancioli.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
SShirley    9

I use a cone 6 porcelain from Flint Hills. It's smooth as butter, really soft (just the way I like it) and I can use it straight from the bag without wedging. I get a thousand pounds at a time and he even delivers it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Marcia Selsor    1,301

I like the terra cotta called Galestra that I use in Tuscany. It is gray wet but fires red. It actually softens the skin when working with it.

It fires to cone 08 and must be soaked with water after firing.

It is a great hand building body and can also be thrown. I believe it comes from Montelupo, outside of Florence.

At home in the US. I make my own terra cotta, raku, and stoneware. I buy porcelain. I like the porcelain I got from Alligator clay in Baton Rouge for ^6

 

Marcia

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
JBaymore    1,432

My clay bodies (I use well more than one) are a combination of commercial bodies, altered commercial bodies, and my own blends. I have a batch mixer that I had built for me by a grad student at Mass College of Art (where I worked YEARS ago....like mid 70s) that is like the old Bluebird mixers. Still working.

 

Since it seems these days that about 90% of people doing claywork use commercial bodies..... I'll constrain my answers to that aspect.

 

I use Sheffield Pottery Supply as my main supplier. They are in western Massachusetts ...and I am in southern New Hampshire. They have provided great product and service over the years.

 

From them, I utilize a couple of bodies.

 

One is their version of the so-called "Z" clay. But I rarely use it unaltered. Usually it has granite dust (from fines up to 1/4" chunks) added to it, as well as often some sand from the river that surrounds my property and occasionally some local red clay.

 

One of my FAVORITE clay bodies is their "Sheffield #42". This is one that I DO often use unaltered. It contains Lizella, is very dark iron-bearing, and is the closest thing (with one runner-up......see below) I have found in commercial clays available here in America to some iof the clays I use when I am working in Japan. This too often gets granite dust and sand.....but nev er local red clay. It is said to be oxidation only and recommended for cone 8. I fire it in the noborigama up to cone 11 and in reduction for smaller items. It is beautiful. Works well with charcoal youhen (ala' Bizen process).

 

The other "sort-of-like-Japanese-clay" clay body I use a little of is "Grogzilla" (LOVE the name!) available from Clay Planet on the west coast. No one on the east coast stocks it.... so the shipping costs me more than the clay when I order it. It is a bit similar to some of the Shigaraki/Iga clay. This too often gets the granite dust and sand added....and gets really "nasty" (in a nice way....... wabi-sabi stuff).

 

My work is a blend of about 50% thrown and 50% handbuilt. About 99.9999999% noborigama woodfired.....but some overglaze enamels in an electric kiln are added.

 

best,

 

.......................john

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
JBaymore    1,432

WOW.... 4500 views................ and only about four postings!!!!!

 

 

 

Come on folks......... there clearly is an interest in this topic. Share your thoughts....don't just look.

 

 

 

best,

 

 

........................john

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
joe.darling    0

Here in Sydney Australia, I most enjoy Keane's "Number 1" earthenware. It's an earthy dark brown medium grog clay with something special. I like it because of the elasticity, body... Spirit maybe within this clay. Throwing this clay is like working in a collabrotive project. The clay boldly moves and sometimes get ahead of me shaping itself before I shape it. It is a pleasure to work with. Try it if you ever come to Sydney!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Chris Campbell    1,088

I use Southern Ice Porcelain because I am totally addicted to it. My work is all colored porcelain and the colors just POP while the white stays incredibly translucent.

For teaching workshops, I use more forgiving friendly Cone 6 porcelains or white clays ... whatever the local supplier has or Highwater Clay's P5 or Little Loafers.

post-1585-134608020878_thumb.jpg

post-1585-134608020878_thumb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
DeLosMares    0

I have been using Black Mountain from laguna clay for a while now, it has great elasticity, a little slippy on the wheel(but i throw with slip so it works well), and its a really beautiful rich, earthy, dark brown clay. I like it a lot except for how difficult it is to glaze because of how much iron is in the body. I was wondering if anyone knows of a clay that has great elasticity for throwing, and is just as earthy but not as dark as the Black Mountain.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Edith Marie    1

Good Morning everyone,

 

Haven’t found one clay body I like better than another, so if I had to pick it would be purge. Purge can be light or dark body depending on what has been made and available when I wonder into the Archie Bray Clay Biz where I purchase all my ceramic supplies. Going on a trip, even a golfing trip, with Google at my fingertips I look for Pottery & Supplies for a new adventure into the world of pottery in another state.

 

Edie

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Denice    243

Only Laguna clay has been sold in this area I have always used it, but the ceramic supply store has started carrying a new line Flinthill Clay. I haven't been able to find very much about it but I'm going to give it a try. Denice

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
voceramics    2

Laguna's Hawaiin Red is my all time favorite clay. Just fabulous for hand building and glazes look absolutely amazing on it, deeper and richer. And it loves to keep its form without warping. Since moving eastward we don't have access to that clay, but I still miss it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
TJR    359

I was just at the ceramic supply store yesterday. I picked up 5 boxes of Danish White which is from Laguna. It is a white porcelaineous stoneware. Sometimes I get it with sand if I am making bakers.I also use Plainsman products. They have an open pit clay mine in Medicine Hat Alberta. I use their porcelain P580.

For my high school art classes I use M340 which is a white mid range body that fires to Cone 6. I buy 20 boxes at a time. This amount usually lasts a semester.

Tom[TJR]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Mark C.    1,808

Laguna's Dave's porcelain for me for reduction work.

For baking dishes I like half and half from Laguna the smoother one as there are two.

I like various stonewares for salt work-

 

Mark

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
OffCenter    82

I am liking Limoges Porcelain while I am working in Vallauris, France. It throws beautifully.

Marcia

 

 

Must be great to work with a famous French porcelain. How translucent is it? I hope you post pics.

 

Jim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Brian Reed    23

being here in Seattle I have two cone 10 clay bodies that I like to use from Seattle Pottery Supply. One is Kenzan Porcelain and the other is a heavy grog stoneware called Bruning. Both are prepared clays that I buy in bags. They also recycle together nicely with a little Lincoln fire clay added.

 

I did recently buy some Dakota White Stoneware from Clay Art Center in Tacoma that I am going to try soon.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Idaho Potter    62

As most of my work is Raku, my favorite is Coleman Raku from Clay Art Center. White body fires well under extreme circumstances--loss rate is usually very low, less than 10%.

 

Shirley

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Wil    0

I have been making my own clay for the past four years, but just recently I have been wanting a white body clay. I have some "B" mix and a lot of Highwater in the studio. I would prefer to make my own clay because of the cost and control I have over the product. I would appreciate any and all inputs as to where I can get a good recipe for my own cone 6 clay that will fire out white.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Would love to see more answers from people in the NC area, especially since I live five miles from Highwater. I love some of Highwater's cone 10, but I fire to 6. Little Loafers is wonderful for handbuilding but tends to collapse when I am throwing large pieces. Desert Buff is great to throw, but I am having problems with it and some of my glazes. I just got a bag of Bella's Blend to try. It vitrifies at 5-6 but can slump if hotter than 6. It is soft and smooth as butter, so it is easy on my hands, but I was able to make a fairly large bowl quickly and with no sagging. It is plastic and very forgiving. I am hoping it works well with my glazes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Wil    0

I have for a time, used "B" mix and enjoy it, but it still gives me a headache at times. The size of my pieces cause some problems. I want to try porceline and I am about to start making my own, but I do not like working with cream cheese. It is therefore, the reason I am working at making my own white body. I want that so that my pastel colors stay pastel and the white stays white. I want my colors to stay alive, so I will be using white.

 

No particular source as yet. I am still experimenting. I will check with a source in Baton Rouge in a couple of weeks, he will blend and produce my clay for me once I get it formulated.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
bobbiedee    0

I have for a time, used "B" mix and enjoy it, but it still gives me a headache at times. The size of my pieces cause some problems. I want to try porceline and I am about to start making my own, but I do not like working with cream cheese. It is therefore, the reason I am working at making my own white body. I want that so that my pastel colors stay pastel and the white stays white. I want my colors to stay alive, so I will be using white.

 

No particular source as yet. I am still experimenting. I will check with a source in Baton Rouge in a couple of weeks, he will blend and produce my clay for me once I get it formulated.

 

 

 

If Southern Pottery is still there, they are great!...I used them many years ago while at Tulane

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
JLowes    28

For raku, which I make a lot, I like Stone Mountain Clay & Glaze Company's Raku #251 for all around raku work (sometimes, when I make a really nice form, I even fire it electric to cone 6 for functional ware). For larger raku work and saggar work I like Highwater Clay's Moon White, it throws and fires wonderfully.

 

For functional, figurative and scupltural work at Cone 5-6 I like Highwater Clay's Earthen Red, or at Cone 06-04, also Earthen Red. For woodfire, I like Highwater Clay's Hestia and Craggy Crunch.

 

Oh, was I supposed to just pick one?

 

John

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×