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I need to find the best All-In-One clay for cone 5, great for both hand building and wheel throwing I know. That's a tall order. But I can dream. I have a pug mill and don't want 2 bodies. Problem: I have too many problems with my gas kiln for cone 06 anymore. I'm DONE. I am moving to cone 5. Criteria / Factors: I'm in Southern California I teach 180 high school students grades 9-12, all levels of art skills, so it has to take punishment Not too sandy on the wheel, not too smooth or squishy for hand building Not too dense so it is so top-heavy when trimming I'm willing to pug the new clay to soften it for throwing, if it is stiff and great for hand building, or visa versa Doesn't stain clothes or the tables, rolling pins, or make a mess everywhere Is not pure white (students can't see where they missed glazing spots when using light color glazes - painting) Good leather hard, doesn't soften up too easily when re-wetting to score things together Doesn't take every indentation to the surface of pieces, temperamentalD Centers on the wheel fairly easily, especially for teen girls with tiny hands Can take a good amount of water from beginners Pulling walls, it is strong, doesn't warp or sag easily Won't dry out too quickly in hands while hand building Doesn't bend or warp easily when removing from the wheel Not so soft that it caves when cutting and sliding off the wheel Doesn't make teens hate the class because it stains clothes or gets everywhere and of course, takes glazes well and can handle a little fluctuation in gas environments Cone 5 clays I've Tried: Laguna - Dover White: Nice clay, but pure white. easy to center, but A little soft when hand building Laguna - Plain (Buff): Nice light tan color, easy center and to rehydrate if repairing, but a bit too squishy and shows every dent Laguna - Moroccan Sand: I love this clay, doesn't leave residue - color, but a bit dense to center. It is really dark grayish brown, if they only could lighten it Laguna - Buff with Sand: Nice tan color, but WAY too sandy for students on the wheel Laguna - Greystone: Too dense and top heavy for small pieces, hard to center, but really takes a beating with water, warps when thin due to density of surrounding clay Laguna - Speckled Buff: A bit dark in color, has iron so it gets read everywhere, could stain (think girls with pure white vans) Laguna - LB-6: hmmm, can't remember, but nixed it very soon after Laguna - Sante Fe: OMG - red EVERYWHERE, like a crime scene Aardvark Clay - SBF - Too dark tan - a bit sticky for students Aardvark Clay -Arctic White: Too white Opinions???? Go!!!
I just accepted a secondary Ceramics and Sculpture position, and I'm waiting for the school district to install HEPA air cleaners before I can start teaching ceramics. Here's the catch: the district is unable to state when they'll install the new equipment (it could be tomorrow or in 6 months), but I still have to teach a group of 30 9th and 10th graders who are enrolled in a course titled "Ceramics 1". What could I teach my class that will still be relevant to ceramics without the clay (bizarre, I know!)? Right now, I have modeling clay, a project where they draw 50 different 3D forms, and a unit where they divide into groups to research and present the history of ceramics to each other... but I'm stuck beyond that. One last tricky bit: many of my Ceramics 1 students are also in my Sculpture 1 class, so I want to keep standard sculpture projects out of the ceramics class if possible. Thanks in advance for your help!