Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Our studio has tested small batches of cone 10 black porcelain for oxidation. We have neither the space to store, nor the production rate to justify a full ton minimum order from any of the large scale clay producers.

 

We do not have the equipment to mix ourselves and mixing small batches ourselves by hand is proving to be too time consuming and labor intensive... so we would like help from someone with a mixer to make a medium sized batch of clay.

 

Can anyone recommend any resources or private studios who take medium scale orders for custom clay blends of about ~150-300 lbs?

 

Our recipe uses mason stain #6600, so I imagine it would be helpful for the producer to have an easier to clean bluebird mixer.

 

Thanks for your help!

 

Ps- Quite obviously, we would also be very interested to know of any clay producers that make a true black cone 9/10 clay for OXIDATION firings. I can't find any that are meant for cone 10, just Aardvark's cone 5 "Cassius basaltic".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think you're going to have a really hard time finding someone to do this for you. The amount of cleanup time before and after running a small batch like that is considerable, especially if you want it pugged. You'll have to waste 50 to 100 pounds just getting it to run clean through the pugger. Your best bet to do it affordably is to mix up the clay body as a slip, and let it dry out to a workable consistency. You could easily do it in 25 pound batches. Mix it well, put it into pillow cases and let it sit on a concrete floor. Turn it a couple times a day and it will be ready to go in a few days. Wedge and use.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just mixed a 100lb batch of a clay I formulated myself for making tile, I bought a large rectangular storage box at Walmart that was labeled Rubbermaid Commercial.  Very heavy walled,  I dumped my clay and water in it and mixed it up with a cordless drill and a large auger type mixer.  I could have easily made 200lbs in that container, it is 19" deep, 24" wide and 20" tall didn't take up much space.  I don't have pugger, I drain the excess water and put the clay on plaster bats when it thickens, then I put it in old clay bags and slam it around.    Denice

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I second Denice's suggestion.  I have mixed batches of clay in barrels (mine were 55 gal, though 30 gal. would work too), using a sump pump for a mixer (run the output hose back into the barrel while mixing, then run it into 5 gal. buckets when finished). 

 

For dewatering, I let it settle in the buckets for a couple of days, siphoned off the clear water.  When it was a pourable thick slip, I set up a 3"-deep frame on a layer of old bricks (commons, absorbent) laid a cloth over the frame (twill or denim work nicely), mixed the slip up and poured it into the cloth, folded the cloth over the top of the slip, and for even drying, a layer of bricks can be placed on top.  There is a description of this process in Harry Davis, The Potter's Alternative, p. 113.

 

As long as you don't let the slip settle before you divide it into buckets, each bucket's batch will have the same composition.  Then each batch needs to be wedged as a unit, because there will be some settling in the drying pan.

 

Barb

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Years ago I also used 55 gal barrels, I thought this size would be easier to use and it was, I really don't make that much clay anymore.  Flinthill clay is made about and hour's drive from my house so it's pretty cheap, I buy it from a local distributor.  If I can't order a specialty clay, I'll make it.   Denice

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

+1 for mixing it as slip and drying it yourself. One of those big round beer tubs holds a 200 lb batch with room for mixing and has the benefit of being round. (You can mix more evenly in a round container than in a rectangular Rubbermaid.) De-watering in pillowcases does work quite nicely, and has surprisingly little seepage.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Where do you buy a larger beer tubs, I looked at several stores before I bought the Rubbermaid container all of the round tubs were much smaller.  The Rubbermaid had fairly rounded corners but a large beer tub would probably been better.  Beer tubs aren't very common around here, it gets so hot here drinks are usually kept in coolers.   Denice

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I got mine at Canadian Tire, which does you no good. But even a 20 or 30 gallon Brute plastic garbage can would work.

 

The "beer" tubs with the rope handles I have seen being used for kids toys, and about a million other handy uses. Usually they get cross-merchandised in the big box stores in the garden and storage areas, and sometimes in with the garbage cans. I think they may be a summer/seasonal item.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ive been slurry mixing clay for a while now..... i own pugger/mixer  and stll slurry mix clay...

there are more notes in thread mixing clay 101

 

300# 6 boxes is a small batch

 

id offer u use of my mixer pugger but u are too far away

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.