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slip casting slip powderd clay blunger

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#1 Thomasd3

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Posted 18 January 2014 - 12:08 PM

Hi all,

My first post so be gentle.  I have been a full time potter for about 20 years but up to now all of my work has been mostly wheel based.  I am now working on a new range that will be a combination of wheel thrown and slip cast pieces.  Up to now I have bought small quantities of pre made slip to just test things out.  

I will soon need to scale this up so need to decide if I should continue to buy slip in the liquid form or should I begin to buy the powdered clay and a blunger to start producing my own slip.  I have talked to a few people and have arguments from both sides.  Some say only a hobbyist would buy the liquid form others saying the savings are not worth the hassle of making it yourself.  Initially I am talking about producing maybe 200-250 pieces a week this way but this will probably increase as more cast pieces are added to the range.

 

So, any thoughts as to which method is more practicle/cost efficent/easier etc

 

Would appreciate any input

 

Thanks

Thomas

 

 



#2 neilestrick

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Posted 18 January 2014 - 12:32 PM

Sounds like with that kind of volume it would be worth investing in some equipment. From my local supplier, a cone 6 white stoneware casting slip is about $7 per gallon. You need about 10 pounds of dry clay to make a gallon, so if you were making a ball clay based slip you would come out way ahead. Even if you bought a premixed dry clay body it would cost you half as much as the slip if you bought in volume. Plus if you were buying slip you'd also have to deal with all the garbage from packaging, as it comes in 1 or 2 gallon containers.


Neil Estrick
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#3 Mark C.

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Posted 18 January 2014 - 12:45 PM

Its always cheaper to make your own-at 200-250 a week I would get the slip equipment and make my own.

Mark


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#4 Thomasd3

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Posted 18 January 2014 - 01:25 PM

Hi 

thanks for the comments. It is a premixed dry clay body that I'm looking at as an alternative to buying it in.  I am based in Ireland so do everything in Kilos but I was told that 1 ton of powdered body should produce about 1.3 tonnes of slip. Does this sound about right?

Also, could all the shavings and slop from the thrown ware be thrown into the blunger to recycle as slip or could this cause me problems (it is the same clay body).

I may be overly optimistic about sales so if I was only doing about 100 pieces a week would you still go with making it yourself?

 

Sorry for all the questions but want to try and get it right from the start and a new 15gal blunger with stand here is going to cost me over €2000.

 

Thanks



#5 Mark C.

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Posted 18 January 2014 - 01:29 PM

You can recycle all the scraps but you will need some Davon 7 or equivalent to adjust the slip as well as a viscosity cup and a timer. and a slip hydrometer.

These are the simple tools needed besides the blunger.

Read up on slip casting

Much of this gear is for sale on the used market as slip casting at least in the US have become less popular .

Mark


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www.liscomhillpottery.com

#6 Thomasd3

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Posted 18 January 2014 - 01:46 PM

Thanks

will do more research but sounds like in the long run powder form might be best.

 

Thomas



#7 Jeff Longtin

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Posted 14 March 2014 - 11:00 PM

Thomas,

Are you in a city that has a clay supplier? I live in Minneapolis, MN. At one point we had three shops that supplied casting slip. Today we're down to two. Both sell it in 5 gallon buckets. 

 

The slips that are available for doll makers come in 1 gallon containers. It would not be economical for you to make 300 pots a week using that form of packaging. If you are near a supplier that can deliver slip in 5 gallon buckets that is more efficient. 

 

As Mark suggested you can buy alot of used slip casting equipment on Craigslist and other sources. If you don't have a local supplier then mixing your own is the best bet.

 

Good Luck

Jeff Longtin

Minneapolis







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