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Liz Swain

Dough mixer for mixing stain into porcelain

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Hi, I have a lot of difficulty with wedging in large amounts of clay. I want to mix stains into 5 lb. increments of  porcelain. Any suggestions on type of machine. Would  A dough mixer or pug mill work. I’m not looking to spend a lot. It’s just for my home studio. Thanks, Liz

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A pug mill would not be good at incorporating stain, nor would it work for amounts that small. A dough mixer may work, but your clay would have to be very soft. The best way to get stain incorporated evenly, and to be accurate in your percentages, is to add the stain to slip. Dry out your clay, weigh out the clay and stain to the desired percentage, then add water and let it slake down. Mix it well, then let it dry on a plaster bat or concrete floor, on a piece of cloth (old pillow cases work well). Once it's dried to the correct moisture level you'll need to wedge it, but you can do so in smaller amounts.

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an alternative to making slip and then drying slip is to use the slam wedging technique discussed in one of the YouTube links from Michael Wendt's website. 
http://www.wendtpottery.com/my-youtube-links/ 

I have used the technique to add a coarse orange clay into porcelain.  Take a large block of clay, slice the block into about 5 or 6 slabs, sprinkle clay on the top of the slab, stack next slab on, sprinkle clay, etc.  Last slab does not get any sprinkles (keeps the dust down).  Then slam wedge 20 times and the clay is uniformly distributed.  I spritzed water on the added dry clay to compensate for the added clay and loss of water to the wedging table.  Set the finished block aside in a tightly wrapped plastic sheet.  Other students have used this technique to add stains to their clay.  
 

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Michael Wendt did a workshop with me way back when-great guy-He makes and sells a very nice high fire porcelain  clay as well.

The slam ,cut and mix method works well.

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35 minutes ago, Min said:

Hi Liz and welcome to the forum. Chris Campbell makes lovely coloured porcelain work, here is a link to her website describing her process, she uses an old 1/2 hp Hobart mixer. 

You may be able to pick one of these mixers up USED at restaurant  supply houses as they are spendy new

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Thanks everyone. I’ve been following Chris Campbell for awhile now. She def has a lot of great information. I took a workshop from Karen Orsillo as well. Im going to try the slam method as well as look into the mixer. I appreciate what everyone has said. 

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