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Best Clay For Handbuilding?

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Hi all!

 

What brand of clay do you recommend for handbuilding?  Wanted to try some slab molds, mugs, etc.....something other than low fire white.    Preferably low-fire.  Thanks so much!

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It would help the update your profile location so the right clay can be recommended for your area.  It is a lot cheaper to buy clay that you can get locally than to have it shipped in.  I can buy 100 lbs if local clay for 35$ or order something similar to it for 85$.   I can get the local clay for even less if I buy larger batch.    Denice

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I've used Standard 104 and 104 w/grog (red/terra cotta) for hand building with good results; was for an art class unit I did for a local school. Highwater's Earthen Red and Stan's Red have been recommended to me by others.

 

For my own work, I use both cone 6 (Highwater's Little Loafers, Red Rock, and Buncombe White, Standard 112, 308, and 266)and cone 10 clays (Highwater's Phoenix, Helios, Standard 381(?), 681, and Laguna's Dark Brown) for hand building.

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I think that the first question you should ask  yourself is What temperature/cone do I want to fire to? Then ask: What color do I want this handbuilt clay to be when fired? Then I would consider whether I want the clay smooth or with grog. Then I would go to my clay store and ask their opinion considering my specifications. I did this when first ordering clay from Standard in Pittsburgh when I first started teaching. I also made it a point to go down and visit Standard and get a look first hand at all their clays, and feel them to see how they were to me. I also made it a point to write down the names of the people when I got back to my car, so that when I called or dealt with them again I would remember their names and start making a personal connection. Over the years and still does work quite well.

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The brand of clay is always specific to the country, city or local area you live in.

Specifying the brand of clay is rather meaningless to anyone else who cannot get hold of it.

Better to describe the type of clay.

I use a brown raku clay with lots of grog that can be fired anywhere from earthenware to stoneware.

The fact that it is raku helps to withstand temperature differentials between thick and thin parts without cracking - ideal for sculptures.

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