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Alternatives To Iron Oxide

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#1 synj00


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Posted 27 November 2013 - 06:33 PM

I live in Georgia where we have red clay that varies in color from dark red to orange to almost yellowish. It is abundant. I want that splotchy earthy kind of color and was researching iron oxides which seem to be closer what I'm after. I was wondering if anyone has experimented with just creating a very thin slip from different colored clays and spraying greenware. You think it would work on a white clay body? I will be doing this with my next firing in a month or so. I do want to experiment more with wood ash glazes too. I dont wood fire yet. Are those deep rich organic colors only available to those who wood fire or saggar fire?

#2 Biglou13


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Posted 27 November 2013 - 08:00 PM

I made simple slips and coated green ware with successful results however, these were made with "complete" clays, made from commercial bodies. In your case the local clays are the wild card. Where in Georgia are you. I'm sure your aware if lizella clay which is outside of Georgia. I would run some test tile, to test shot glasses. There is a standard flashing slip which iis 70%epk, 30% feldspar. Sure this doesn't help you. But gives you an idea of a functional slip. Id try your local clay and mixed with a known clay body in different percentages to sart. You also don't tell us gas electric what cone ox or redux. There is a lot of informations on the net re: slips and engobes. I'm interested in the yellow clay in your area have you run any tests yet?
I have mixed lizella with my own cone 6 shino and got good results.

I'm relatively new to woodfire. But I don't think there is a replacment for the colors and character you get from it. But for great coloration with more control I'd look into Steven hill glazes. Do you have access to a wood kiln In ga. If so please share info or pm me.

I have also played with some ash glazes in ox. John b. Gave me this 33.3 Each of ball clay, ash(sifted not cleaned), feldspar. Nice brown earth tone with some specks. Ash was from loca BBQ joint, mostly oak so I'm told. I haven't re tested yet but plan on replacing percentage of ball clay with lizella.

But to answer you title a good iron rich clay can give better effects than rio.
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#3 weeble


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Posted 28 November 2013 - 06:40 AM

Check out Terra sigillata!  Its a very thin slip thats been deflocculated and the finest particles pulled out to use.  You can spray it, pour it, dab it, and color varies depending on what clay you make it from.  Put it on THIN on greenware and buff with a soft cloth or plastic grocery bag and it looks wonnnnderful.  Its great for low fire work, on cone 5 you loose some of the sheen but its still a nice finish.  Use a couple different shades and you can get a very nice shading of colors.  This is a tan clay (Laguna Weststone II) with a terra sig made from my yard clay (-it goes on babycrap green, and fires orange-) put on the greenware, then a darker brown terra sig put over it after the bisque. 


Attached File  custom2.jpg   117.5KB   0 downloads Attached File  custom3.jpg   94.81KB   0 downloads


You can get an idea of the base color of the clay from the shot of the bottom.  It's got cork on it, but the center area has very little terra sigillata on it and its almost the base clay color.


dunno if this new fangled system will let you click and see the big versions, but there are bigger shots as well as a shot of the bottom of the planter on my facebook page:


Maryjane Carlson

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#4 synj00


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Posted 28 November 2013 - 09:19 AM

Thanks for tne replies and Happy Thanksgiving!

Biglou13 I don't currently have access to a woodfire kiln although I know there are several in north georgia. I am located in northeast georgia, gainesville area. I have not run any tests yet on any of my local clays but I will post results when I do.

Its just going to take a lot of experemintation which I love anyways. Im going to put some bisqued pots on the grill to get some smoke and fire. I will try theterra sig idea Weeble, it looks promising. Good thing I have some kiln shelf wash in case experiments go haywire

#5 PeterH


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Posted 28 November 2013 - 10:53 AM


You can get some outstanding effects with terra-sig and smoke.


Has to be quite low fire, otherwise you loose the t-sig sheen.

Regards, Peter

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