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B-Mix Question


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#21 Brenda Neall

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Posted 12 December 2013 - 11:21 AM

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.

#22 neilestrick

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Posted 14 December 2013 - 05:47 PM

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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#23 nancylee

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 07:37 AM

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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Northern Woods Pottery
www.northernwoodsstudio.blogspot.com

#24 Roberta12

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 10:21 PM

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!



#25 nancylee

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 05:29 PM

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!

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Northern Woods Pottery
www.northernwoodsstudio.blogspot.com

#26 nancylee

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 05:33 PM

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


Neil,
What do you mean by wonderful stoneware, and that white stoneware isn't wonderful? What color clay is the usual good stoneware?

And Marcia, I love those vases in the first post here! Gorgeous!
Nancy
Northern Woods Pottery
www.northernwoodsstudio.blogspot.com

#27 neilestrick

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 10:49 AM

 

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


Neil,
What do you mean by wonderful stoneware, and that white stoneware isn't wonderful? What color clay is the usual good stoneware?

And Marcia, I love those vases in the first post here! Gorgeous!

 

 

I should have specified smooth white stoneware. I prefer stoneware bodies that have stoneware clays or fireclay in them. Smooth white stoneware bodies tend to be high in ball clays. A little ball clay is nice, but most have too much for my taste. And if I want smoothness, I'm going to use porcelain, which has a completely different feel than smooth white stoneware. I also don't like the color of the fired white stonewares. They're not glassy like porcelain, and not interesting like stoneware with fireclay. Just my personal preference.


Neil Estrick
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#28 nancylee

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 11:14 AM

Hi Neil,

Thank you for clarifiying!!! I appreciate you sharing your knowledge.

Nancy


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Northern Woods Pottery
www.northernwoodsstudio.blogspot.com

#29 DarrellVanDrooly

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Posted 31 December 2013 - 02:49 AM

When i first started out, I was throwing a lot of B-mix and I loved it. I guess only because i'd never experienced anything better. im now using porcelain which I like so much better, however I sometimes still use b mix.


Derek Von Drehle - Bearded Lady Studio

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