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Chad Jerzak

Member Since 22 Dec 2011
Offline Last Active Dec 14 2012 07:24 PM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: White body for alternative firing

31 December 2011 - 07:12 PM

This is the Raku body that my supplier carries. I purchase all my clay from them because their prices are good and more importantly, their products are amazing. Pretty sure this is a clay they make on site. All the clay I purchase from them is made on site.


Wouldn't a thin coating of a refractory slip (low clay content) that fires bright white do the trick over any off white body that has a bit of tooth to it?

Yes the slip sure does well. I use a low fire white earthenware slip and burnish it. I am trying, however, to eliminate this step of the process in just having a white body that works for all the processes I currently do. One clay that does it all!

In Topic: White body for alternative firing

31 December 2011 - 05:40 PM

Chad, i've been meaning to respond to this post for a couple days, sorry it took so long to sit at my desktop. You can try Chad's Bod from Dakota Potter's Supply in Sioux Falls. Not too far for you in the Twin Cities. It is the clay formula I helped develop with their help in exchange for them to sell it commercially. I use it for everying from pit fires to cone 10. I've raku'd it, salt fired it, used it for earthenware and stoneware glazes from low fire to high fire. I mainly work in pit and saggar and everything is sigg'd or burnished.

It throws well, even better with a little age becomes much more flexible. They have sold it to various other potters with favorable responces and it is becoming popular in schools as well, since the kids can actually throw it earlier than they could with their previous clay bodies.

Charlie Riggs used it at the last work shop he had in Luverne, MN and he enjoyed using it.

Besides, it has a good name.

Chad(my name also)

Cool! Funny thing, I was just looking at DPS website today and saw that body on their list of clays. Wonder if they ever ship quantity up to the cities for a group of potters? Might make obtaining some a bit easier. I just don't seem to get down to SF much at all. Might have to make a road trip. I have heard good things about their raku clay. Is the Chad's bod a really white firing body?

I do like that name for a clay BTW!

In Topic: White body for alternative firing

29 December 2011 - 10:45 PM

you know, I thought about it, and I think I WILL recommend a clay, then YOU can decide if it might work, not me.
Anyway it is called Smooth Raku, and it is from Great Lakes clay co.:


I saw that you do a show in St. Charles, so what you could do is just shoot up 31 from St. Charles to GLC in Elgin, they are on 31.
They used to sell their clays in dry form also, so you could mix your own, but I don't know if they do that any more.
They also make a clay called 'porcelain raku' that is smooth, and white, but I have read differing opinions on how 'raku-able' it is. I thing it has a high reject rate, around 50%, meaning half your stuff is going to crack/shatter when you try to reduce it in a container. I have some in my studio, but I have yet to make anything from it, so I can't tell you how well it survives.
Maybe one of these would work for you.

Cool- thanks might have to try it out. I'm hoping to get a recipe eventually that I can have custom mixed by my supplier. I just might have to research something out and go for broke when I find a white body. Wait that' s a bad thing to say when speaking about raku! My goal it to find a body that throws well, good thermal shock and white as snow. I get tired of covering everything with slip even though it gives me what I want-just adds time.

Thanks for all replies. Anyone who has a recipe for a clay that might work like this, it's greatly appreciated!

Happy new year!

In Topic: White body for alternative firing

24 December 2011 - 12:30 AM

Hi Chad,
I might have a clay that I can recommend to you, I have used it for about four years now, for all the things you describe, but I need to know a couple things:

What do you consider high fire?
"Low tooth" - in what respect?

Hi- thanks for the reply!

Low tooth as in not very course. As you are probably aware- Sometimes raku clays have a tendency to be very groggy and not as fine for the ease of burnishing. This grog is also Tough on trimming tools and more difficult when carving designs at the leathrhard stage.

I guess high fire in the respect that I could bring it up to cone 6-10 if it were necessary. Raku clay has to remain not-vitrified from what I understand.

Thanks- interested to see what you have!

In Topic: White body for alternative firing

23 December 2011 - 09:59 AM

That's asking a lot. I would probably look for two bodies as one probably won't do everything your asking as well as you'd like. Raku requires kyanite, or even mullite grog to help with thermal shock. The raku bodies have quite a bit of usually kyanite. I add a mullite 35 mesh grog to some of the cone 6 porcelain that I use for most of my work so that it will take a beating. At 10% mullite grog the porcelain holds up well under fast drying and heat shock, that my normal porcelain body will not tolerate. It's fine enough that you might get away with some nice pitfiring, however it's probably not the best raku body.

The most important part of this clay body would be the whiteness and ability to take thermal shock. I've done some things with porcelain and have determined that it's not well suited to alternative firing for many reasons in addition to being wildly expensive. It's nice and white however!

Anyone with a good WHITE raku body recipe that is fairly inexpensive to make out there? My local clay supplier makes a decent raku clay, but it's not as white as I need. Their clay also has the occasional lime contamination which shows up months later as white pop outs on the raw black clay. Nice, huh?

As of now, I've been covering my forms made from raku clay with 2-3 coats of white slip when leathrhard, then burnishing them. This works well, but adds time and some extra steps in the process.

I work with naked raku and barrel firing, and am looking for a do it all clay that fits the bill for alternative firing; white, low tooth, great thermal shock, easy burnishing, fabulous for throwing.

It must exist!