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Marcia Selsor

B-Mix Question

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Marcia Selsor    1,301

Does anyone like throwing B-Mix? I had some in the shop to try and I think is feels greasy. It is sticky. I like throwing porcelain better. But I wanted to make some more Crackle pots for the obvara firing so I tried it. It throws well but I don't like sticky. I think it comes from working in an all night pancake house and filling ten syrup dispensers each on 100 different tables. I have hated sticky ever since.It is the reason I didn't like printmaking. Ink is sticky.

What are your opinions on B-mix? These are thrown with 3 and 4 pounds of clay. 

 

I am jaded obviously, but I just don't like sticky.

 

 

 

Marcia

post-1954-0-84076800-1386716583_thumb.jpg

post-1954-0-84076800-1386716583_thumb.jpg

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Marcia Selsor    1,301

TJR,

Thanks. I am looking a more local and less expensive sources. I think there is one source for that in Texas.

 

Jolieo,

Apply sodium silicate on the surface, dry it with a hair dryer of propane torch and then stretch it out with a rib using only the inside hand.

Marcia

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neilestrick    1,381

I would rather throw porcelain than any white stoneware. White stoneware doesn't have any of the properties that make porcelain or stoneware wonderful.

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Natania    6

I throw B-Mix 5 a lot. I guess you could describe it as sticky. I thought it was actually a bit slimy. A lot of scraping off fingers on the side of the water bowl. I don't love it, but I don't hate it either. I have a nice fit with all my glazes, etc. and I'm used to it. I like the color of it wet and after firing. How is that for a non-answer?

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Marcia Selsor    1,301

That is a good answer. I tried B-Mix 10. I don't know if there is much difference.

I had to scrape tools and hands a lot. But it did throw thin and easily.

 

Thanks for sharing your experience with it. I wanted to hear someone else's experience and opinion. 

 

Marcia

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JBaymore    1,432

I use cone 10 B-Mix sometimes for handbuilt Shino glazed chawan.  But I add tons of two meshes of molochite grog, silica sand, and granite dust to it.... so I'm not really using B-Mix. ;)   Straight... yeah it is sticky and slimey.  Hate it.

 

best,

 

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

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JBaymore    1,432

Chris,

 

My students at the college find that it does NOT like being rushed.  Not forgiving.

 

best,

 

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

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Marcia,  I absolutely dislike B-mix, threw it for a workshop based on recommendations from the instructor.  Nothing against the instructor, it was the only clay on the list that was available in my area.  Pancake batter about describes it.  I will say it forced me to research and develop my own clay formula that I have been using for the past 3+ years.  I use if for everything from pits to cone 10.  I know it's not close to  you , but it handled through Dakota Potter's Supply in Sioux Falls, SD.  Aptly called Chad's Bod.

 

take care,

Chad

 

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Mark C.    1,797

I find b-mix to dry very ineven and handles crack  because of this and its is always sticky-thats why I choose to throw 99.9% porcelain

B-mix does throw large and thats the only reason I see to use it. 

The lips dry fast the bottoms are sticky wet for days

I would rather throw other white bodies as far as stoneware

Try some 1/2 and 1/2 from laguna or Danish white as TRJ says-both are good.

Mark

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ayjay    119

I can't offer an opinion on B-mix, I don't think we have it in the UK, but I have to ask about your crackle pots Marcia: I know how to make them, it's a favourite method of mine, I generally use my normal clay (which is Scarva Earthstone - ES5,  if that means anything in the US) and I get cracking but nothing very heavy or deep.

 

I recently received  samples of some different clays and made a small pot with a heavily grogged clay which has cracked to a greater extent than usual, that's good, cos it's what I was expecting to happen. :)

 

Looking at the two pots in your pic in the first post I'm wondering if you have employed a different technique of some sort to achieve those long plain cracks between the closer cracked areas. Did you perhaps rib the pot out and then leave it for a while and rib it out some more, or was it all done at the same time.

 

I must throw some taller pots and crackle them, it shows it off so much better, if it warms up a bit I may do that this afternoon.

 

I don't like anything sticky either.

 

Here's an example of a finished pot (fairly small cracks)  and the recent more grogged one (still green)  with heavier cracking, but I wouldn't mind more.

 

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post-7271-0-16016600-1386762003_thumb.jpg

 

 

 

 

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Marcia Selsor    1,301

Thank you, John, Chad, Mark, Natania, Chris  for confirming my reaction to B-mix. I haven't used much in commercial brands except for porcelain. I appreciate your input.

Ayjay,

I throw a tall cylinder and do the sodium silicate. Then I stretch it out with a rib. They are very thin by the time I am done. I have thrown holes in the walls by going too thin. 

 

Marcia

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Marcia,

Like most of the lot here, I'm not a fan of M-Mix. I threw a couple hundred pounds of B-Mix 10 w/Grog for a wood firing last fall. I did find it unpleasantly sticky. I also found it to be intolerant of rushing the process and finicky with handle and spout attachments. I quite liked my final results using a Korean Celadon, but working with this body wasn't very fun until I unloaded bisque.

C

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Marcia Selsor    1,301

It is no secret. Fairly common technique. Randy uses iron oxide for the contrast . I traded  a stoneware pot with Rob Hamlyn of Kelowna, BC that used this technique as well.  I fire obvara for my contrast.

Lots of questions on that link. 

 

Maybe that should be a topic in itself.

Marcia

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Hmmmm ... Looks like I'm in the minority here. I have used the Western mid fire BMix for ~5 yrs now and other than one batch that seemed to have a quality assurance issue, I really like it. To me it feels buttery not sticky. In my experience, joining and drying haven't shown it to have any major issues. The only significant problem I've run into is a tendency to 'flatten/sag' when using it for larger hand build or molded pots. Now, for those pots, I've been experimenting with the BMix with sand version combined with another clay but the jury is still out as to whether or not that's the final solution. The other issue, which I've mentioned in a previous post, is it doesn't handle refiring all that well, again producing blisters. I have tried some other white mid fire clays but always end up back with BMix.

 

Re the QA issue, I was getting random blistering on pots over a period of about 3 months. In subsequent discussions with other potters, I found other folks were having similar experiences. The problem disappeared with my next batch of clay.

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neilestrick    1,381

More than any other clay body, I have heard about random quality issues with B-Mix over the years. I don't know if it's because more people use it, or because it tends to have more problems, or both. But it seems like it tends to have issues for a month or two every now and then, and then it's fine.

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nancylee    30

Hi,

Where I learned, we use B-Mix and a speckled clay called 60, it has a lot more grog than the B mix, but I don't know the rest of its name. I like the B-Mix, because I guess I don't know any better, but my handles do crack off a lot. I figured it was just me, but an experienced friend of mine loses handles, too. I am thinking now that perhaps I should try a different white stoneware. I did try a cone 6 porcelain which I liked, everyone said it would be harder to throw with, but it wasn't noticeably more difficult than the B Mix, and it was gorgeous when fired!

 

Nancy

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Roberta12    135

I really like a smooth clay.   I was getting a nice smooth clay from a place in Denver, but they went out of business.  I did not realize it was a clay body they made themselves.  so, I have been searching for a great cone 5/6 clay ever since.   I have access to both Laguna and Aardvark clays so have tried a number of them.  Right now I am using Aardvark's Bee Mix.  I do find that I like it a little better than Laguna's. but it is temperamental.  I have to dry it slowly, or I get cracks.  Sometimes handles crack.  Sometimes after drying slowly and firing carefully, it cracks.  Hmmm apparently it cracks.  I have tried 1/2 and 1/2 , texas white, artic white, whitestone, Bone White, and they just aren't very smooth for throwing.  Geez, sounds like I have a problem.  Ok, so Marcia, I guess I don't really like Bee mix or B mix all that well because it is just rather temperamental!

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nancylee    30

I just tried to rush B mix a bit, and 1/4 of the handles cracked off. Can anyone suggest a good midfire white substitute? I like to paint really bright colors on my bisque, so it has on take underglazes on very well. Thanks!

Nanc

 

Yes, I know, my bowls' feet stuck to the kiln. Another issue I'm having with my clear glaze. My learning curve never lets up!

post-6053-0-47589700-1387578613_thumb.jpg

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