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Clay Question - Little Loafers Or Standard White Clay

What are the differences?

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#1 Pugaboo

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Posted 09 August 2013 - 05:17 PM

The group studio I belong to is thinking of changing their white ^6 stoneware clay from Little Loafers to a brand called Standard. I looked up their website and I am thinking it would be the 240 or maybe the 563 it was not stipulated which just that they were thinking of changing the white clay brand.

So has anyone used both of these clays? What is the difference between the two? Do you consider one better than the other and if so why?

I'm just getting to the point I know what Little Loafers is going to do when I use it and am really leery of switching over to a whole different clay. Will I have to start all over in my learning curve or unlike the books say is there really not that much difference between the clays? The books all say when you change clay you have to start over with how it handles, redo all testing and glaze fit can be different as well.

Any input from those with experience with both clays would be greatly appreciated.

Terry
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#2 oldlady

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Posted 09 August 2013 - 05:30 PM

i used to use standard clay.  it comes from carlisle, near pittsburg.  did not use that particular white clay but found that some of their products work best for throwing    OR    handbuilding.  since it came from only 200 miles away i would pick it up while traveling.

 

highwater makes the little loafers and it is a great all around clay, throwing well and i use it for slab work.  it is closer to you but i do not know how your group gets the clay so shipping charges may not matter.

 

whatever you decide, find out if the clay will work for all of you, throwers or handbuilders.

 

 

why can you not buy both clays so everyone would be happy?


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#3 Pugaboo

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Posted 09 August 2013 - 05:48 PM

Up until now either the director or a volunteer has been driving up to Asheville to pick up the clay. I've been told its about a 3-4 hour round trip. I don't know if doing this is getting old and they are looking to simplify things or what. They have said its harder to find in local places, local as in Atlanta, but as I have never been to any of these places I have no idea what's involved.

I do know some of the other potters have had cracking issues in the past with Little Loafers so this may have something to do with it as well. I personally have never had an issue with stuff cracking but then I dry things really slowly in a drying cabinet so the levels are pretty much constant. I have to dry this way as I do a lot of surface decoration and a longer "open" period works best for me. I don't do wheel work so personally if I had to choose I would choose a clay that works best for hand building.

I'm just trying to educate myself so when next I am asked I can give a more educated answer as to why one or the other would be better for me.
The world is but a canvas to the imagination - Henry David Thoreau

#4 neilestrick

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Posted 09 August 2013 - 05:59 PM

Standard 240 is a nice clay body. We use several thousand pounds a year in my studio. It does require good compression of the foot to prevent s-cracks, but it's a good body. They have a new cone 6 white, #630, that is more forgiving, as it has fireclay in it. Slightly more texture, but not noticeable when throwing. Never used Loafers...


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#5 JLowes

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Posted 10 August 2013 - 03:22 PM

Little Loafers is available in Atlanta at Atlanta Clay Company. I have used Standard 240 and I recall it firing less white than Little Loafers, but worked very nicely. Little Loafers is cousin to the B-mix clays, being a porcelainous stoneware.

John

#6 Pugaboo

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Posted 10 August 2013 - 10:40 PM

Atlanta Clay Co is at least and hour and a half away from here one way and with the price of gas the price starts climbing fast. I have never used another clay but am really pleased with Little Loafers. It's absorption rate at ^6 is 1.87 as compared to 2.75 for the Standard. I'm not sure if I understand it right but a low absorption rate once fully vitrified is better for functional ware yes? The Standard also has a different shrinkage rate (13% with the standard and 11% with the Little Loafers) which again I think could cause some issues with glaze fit and size allowances of my patterns. Not sure on either of these issues but there is a bit a different in the 2 clays. I could also be completely wrong and these numbers mean absolutely nothing. Lol

Terry
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#7 Ben

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 09:20 AM

Those absorption numbers mean exactly what you think they mean and you are absolutely right. Lower absorption is better for functional wares.

 

Shrinkage on the other hand is not the same as expansion. Shrinkage in clay happens usually happens due to loss of water on drying and ???not quite sure in firing. Maybe quartz inversion and also loss of more chemically bound water???

 

Expansion is due to absorbed or lost heat and is repeatable. Shrinkage is not repeatable. Once it has shrunk it will not go back.

When a pot expands due to absorbed heat, it will contract when it cools.

 

The glaze fit is due to how similar the clay and glaze expansion rates are. This is called "Coefficient of Thermal Expansion" or COE for short.

No matter the shrinkage, if the glaze and clay COE matches the glaze will fit. Even if the shrinkage is different. As a result the higher shrinkage may not affect glaze fit at all but it may have an effect on how well the clay deals with attachments such as handles as it dries and warping as it dries.

 

Ask Highwater and Standard if they publish COE's for the clays in question and compare.






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