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Crusty

Your Favorite Clay To Throw

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Hey,

I like Trinity Clay's red stoneware, because it does what I want it to do, takes stains well, and looks

good fired to cone 10 reduction.  I like to make large 2 piece, 5 gallon vessels out of

Highwater's Craggy Crunch because it seems to crack less than clays with less grog.

I like Highwater's Helios porcelin because it cracks 98% less than B Mix porcelin.

I keep some Trinity Clay's white stoneware just in case I need it.

 

     Oh, Trinity Clay is located in Florence, Ala so I can save 300 dollars in shipping.  Which reminds

me, that when you're on the way to PICK UP 1000 lbs. of clay, no one EVER pulls out in front of you.

See you later.

Alabama

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I recently got my hands on helmer body from the helmer plant direct. Man was it a dream to throw. I'm working to get my porcelains to feel like that. I used to think helios was great.

 

I'd love to try daves but didn't they close?

 

For cone 6. The standard 266 is pretty dreamy....I find it a bit weak as I red product. ......I ve broke more 266 pieces than any other clay.

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For me it depends on what I am doing. For years, too many to recall, we mixed our own clay at the college where I was employed. Later for health safety reasons we switched to commercial clay bodies from Highwater since they are quite close and reduce the shipping expenses, we can actually pick it up.

 

For an all around clay I like their Phoenix, it fires to cone 10 and does well at cone 6, (although some would argue not as vitrified as a true cone six clay). It Rakus well, too.

 

I have used their Hestia and Zellastone bodies and enjoy throwing them. Orangestone was a nice clay that I used with Shinos in cone 10 and some cone six glazes that worked on a bit darker body. I hand built with Craggy Crunch, lots of grog for my large outdoor pieces. It threw well too, but my iPhone didn't recognize my fingerprints for weeks due to the grog sanding them off.

 

They make some cone 6 clays that I know others are quite happy with, brownstone, and speckled brownstone, as well as little loafers, a porcelainious clay.

 

I guess as I write this I realize I don't have a favorite. Truthfully, the clay has never been the weak link in my chain, it's always been user error.

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my custom mixture of porcelain and grogged stoneware,, throws very very well. but has quite a bit of cracking if not done carfully, but holy cow, its translucent when thing enough, ever seen a translucent stone ware body B) . and it sands so buttery too

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I haven't tried a lot... I learned to throw Laguna's WC-401 Cone 5 B-Mix, and that's what I still use. I like the look of white stoneware, and I dislike throwing with grog or sand. If I need grog, Laguna has a B-Mix with grog.

 

I've thrown some red earthenware... I think it was Laguna's R-2, and I like that alright when I want to work in earthenware.

 

Thing is, I've not felt a lot of pressure to try something different. I'm still working on my skills and I don't really want different kinds of clay around my recycle bucket, and I don't need to throw off my glaze experimentation by changing to a really different body.

 

B-Mix seems really popular with classrooms, but I don't hear of many people using it in production. Maybe people who like B-Mix graduate to porcelain, but I don't need that headache or expense right now (if ever).

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(B-Mix seems really popular with classrooms, but I don't hear of many people using it in production. Maybe people who like B-Mix graduate to porcelain, but I don't need that headache or expense right now (if ever). )

 

Most potters (full time) I know who used B-mix have had so many issues with it over the years(bad batches -soft to hard -bloating issues) they all have switched to porcelains.

Mark

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Scarva *Earthstone Original E/S5* is my usual choice for throwing.

 

I'll have a go with anything else on special offer when I'm buying, not found anything I like better yet though.

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I have been keeping count of the number of pieces I have had to toss that was made out of Aardvark's  cone 6 Bee Mix.  I figure it's between 10-15%.   I am a good compressor, I do a slow dry, lightly covered in a cool basement with a stable temp, and during drying I will get at least 2 out of 20 bowls that cracks.  During a bisque I will get another 2.  And during the glaze fire another two.  Geez, that's more than 15%.   I like Bee mix, I like how it throws, my glazes fit very well on it.   But......I can't really afford that kind of loss.  However, I am wondering if it is how I am compressing.  I only get the cracks on really small and medium sized bowls.  Never on mugs and not on large bowls.  So I am really thinking about that when I throw.  So, to get back on track, I like Bee mix for how it throws....how my glazes fit....

But I also like Laguna SB red to throw with!  It's fun!   messy but fun!

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roberta, are you using a lot of water when you throw?  i have seen some of the potters on youtube and they fill a bathtub when making a mug.  cannot understand it. sopping some out with a sponge is totally inadequate if the clay is thoroughly saturated.

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Min, I don't use that much water.  I have not been in clay that long (7 yrs) but this is truly the first time I have had trouble with s cracks.  And because I like adventure, I switch up clays and use a speckled brown clay and sometimes a red clay.  Nary an S crack to be seen.  Like I said, I am trying to examine my throwing and compressing technique to see if there is something to be learned.  Thanks for the question though. 

 

Roberta

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Roberta

With bowls you will need to really work the bottoms. Pay extra attention to opening and really compress your bottoms.

The body may also be working againist you.I have zero experience with cone 6 b-mix but in general tight bodies can crack more.

All it shopuld take is one extra compression cycle while throwing.As Min noted keep any water from forming in bowl bottoms.

Mark

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Another thing that I find helps with those pesky S-cracks is when you trim, gently compress the bottom with a soft-ish rubber rib (I like my little yellow Mud Tool rib the best). Since I started doing that, I've had maybe two pieces S-crack in four years! ^_^

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i have seen some of the potters on youtube and they fill a bathtub when making a mug.  cannot understand it. sopping some out with a sponge is totally inadequate if the clay is thoroughly saturated.

 

I've noticed that too, I can't believe how much water some of them have slopping around in a bowl.

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