For some reason, I thought my post didn't make it through as it hadn't shown up for me... But wow! Lots of information- thanks!
The unicorn wasn't made by me, it's the sort of look I am hoping to achieve some day; and I know it was made with porcelain, so that's why I was looking into porcelain to begin with. I am aware that the difference between polymer clay and natural clay is very, very different. Maybe I shouldn't have said that I'm a complete newbie... but I actually have been doing a lot of research over a few months on the types and different firing temperatures, compositions, and the chemical reactions that take place with the different clays, and I've really been looking into what would be best suited for my needs and the different ways to work with them. There is just a lot to learn, and I thought I'd have some luck with learning about the things that are specific to what I'd like to do on here. I have worked with natural clay before in school, but I've never bought my own or anything- I simply was curious about the different types and brands SPS offered. I already know what I'd like to make, and I'm not going to buy anything before I'm 100% comfortable with my decision or knowledge of the material or brand. This isn't the only place I'm going to looking for information- but it seemed reasonable to ask a community of people who know a lot about the material and mediums for some more supplemental information.
I have read about shrinkage! I know it will shrink both from drying and from vitrifying... but couldn't find out anything about them shrinking after a glazed firing (I'd assume not, but I'm not completely sure). I'm excited for the pieces to be heavier, actually! That's one of the main reasons I'd like to move on to this material instead. If I had time during regular people hours, I'd love to take a class.... but I do almost all of my creating and painting at night, and I doubt they anywhere would have classes at 1 AM .
I wanted my clay to have a higher cone to be fired to so there'd be less chance for it to melt, and because I want it to be really strong. I'm interested in porcelain because it seems to fit all the qualities that I'd like for my pieces to have, but I just wasn't sure about where to begin with all the brands and different types available. I will be inquiring about using SPS's kiln, so I shouldn't need to get one myself (my circuit definitely wouldn't work with any of them as I can't even use a hair dryer!).
I will definitely look into them too! I heard about SPS through several friends, and it seemed to be perfect.... I'd always tried to smother my desire to do ceramics because I never have the space for a kiln, but after I heard about SPS, it seems like so many obstacles could be overcome!
Yes, I will be talking to SPS about their kiln temps and what they can do before I do anything. Good thing I pretty much never plan on throwing anything! Even if I ever decided to do dinnerware, I love organic, freeform shapes, and hand building is too much fun! And I'll definitely check the Tacoma shop out as it seems like some of you prefer them. And yes, I am aware that there will be at least two firings, and of the luster! After doing a lot of printmaking, I kind of assume any fume is awful for you
Part of the reason I decided I wanted to start working with ceramics is because I just recently learned about SPS and how they have kilns you can use, so it made me feel like I finally had the opportunity to do something I've wanted to for many years. Yeah, I don't have any desire to throw, as I love to hand build things! The only reason I wanted the clay to be translucent was because some of my pieces will have rather thin parts, and I'd love for them to be translucent. And I had also read that if you work with porcelain, you should only work with porcelain, because it will almost always get other clays mixed up into it... But we'll see!