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cone 5-6 clay for hand building

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I'm looking for suggestions for specific clays for hand building slab bowls and mugs and butter dishes etc.  I buy from Standard Ceramic, but also online since they carry only their own clays. 

What do you like to use? 

I throw with Standard 112 (tan speckle) and Standard 266 (brown) and Little Loafers, (white).   Of those, the 112 seems to work ok for handbuilding, but I'd like a lighter colored clay too.

Thanks for your help and ideas!

 

Irene in NJ

 

 

 

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You might try the B Mix with grog in it.   I do a lot of hand building  and really haven't found a clay that is close to white,  I usually end up with a light buff.   I am not a B Mix fan for hand building but I understand that other hand builders are happy with it.     Denice

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I love the look of glazes on 112 but it's not as vitrified as I'd like. I've been using Kentucky Mudworks clays for a year or so now, it was hard to pick just a few because all of the samples I tried of theirs I really like. For now I'm using Speckled Turtle which is a bit redder/darker than 112, Brown Bear dark brown clay, White Lightning porcelain, and Sheltowee which is a deep red. All of these have a 1% or less absorbency.  One that you may like is Clawhammer, it doesn't have manganese specks but does show iron speckling in reduction. It's a bit lighter than the 112.

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21 hours ago, Denice said:

You might try the B Mix with grog in it.   I do a lot of hand building  and really haven't found a clay that is close to white,  I usually end up with a light buff.   I am not a B Mix fan for hand building but I understand that other hand builders are happy with it.     Denice

Why don't you like the B Mix with grog?  What do you use to handbuild?  It's ok if it's not white.  Thanks for the input.

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20 hours ago, Callie Beller Diesel said:

Does the Little Loafers not work for handbuilding?

I think it's me that doesn't use it well.  I rolled a slab yesterday and let it get to almost leather and cut out some flat pieces and sandwiched them in dry wall.  They seem to be very flat but I won't know till I bisque them.  I think I need to let the slabs harden like that more often, but usually I forge ahead and give myself problems.  I think my bag of clay  is very fresh and moist too, nice for throwing but a little soft for slabs.

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20 hours ago, Marian Lake said:

I love the look of glazes on 112 but it's not as vitrified as I'd like. I've been using Kentucky Mudworks clays for a year or so now, it was hard to pick just a few because all of the samples I tried of theirs I really like. For now I'm using Speckled Turtle which is a bit redder/darker than 112, Brown Bear dark brown clay, White Lightning porcelain, and Sheltowee which is a deep red. All of these have a 1% or less absorbency.  One that you may like is Clawhammer, it doesn't have manganese specks but does show iron speckling in reduction. It's a bit lighter than the 112.

Do you fire to 6?    Is Speckled Turtle more speckly than 112?   I don't mind that it might be darker, just how it works with the way I glaze.   I have an electric kiln.  Can I ask you how you determine it doesn't seem vitrified enough?   Thanks!

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I don't like the texture to B-Mix it has a cream cheese feel to it.   I use Laguna clay- Speckled buff,    Red Standard, and Calico red and yellow.   I tried a off white with a light  Manganese speckle but it didn't have enough texture or character for me.    I am doing coil work and the clay color and texture is part of the design.   If you want a clay that works well with any glaze the off white with the light speckle would probably work well for you.   The speckled buff changes white glaze to a cream color,  if I could only work with one clay it would be the speckled buff.   If you have a ceramic supplier near by you should learn how to work with the brand of clay they carry,  it will save you a lot of money in freight.    You need to look up the vitrification test in a book or on-line somewhere.   I have been firing to cone 5/6 electric fire for 45 years.  Denice

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irene, i have used little loafers for many years.   it changed several years ago, though the manufacturer claims nothing is different.   now it stays wet.   i used to roll out a slab, cut a piece to shape, push it into thick foam rubber and the walls would stand up straight and just dry that way.   the printers blankets would look slightly damp and dry fast.

it is now wet, i roll it out on printers blankets and  they look wet for an hour or more afterward.  the slab is treated the same way but the walls fall outward so they are no longer at 90 degrees to the bottom.   i have to run a finger along each wall several times to make them 90 degrees.  

maybe more of us should complain to highwater.  i am about to use my last box from 2015, the year it changed.  the second last is used up and i found it was at least a little dryer than the new stuff when i rolled it out.

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18 hours ago, oldlady said:

irene, i have used little loafers for many years.   it changed several years ago, though the manufacturer claims nothing is different.   now it stays wet.   i used to roll out a slab, cut a piece to shape, push it into thick foam rubber and the walls would stand up straight and just dry that way.   the printers blankets would look slightly damp and dry fast.

it is now wet, i roll it out on printers blankets and  they look wet for an hour or more afterward.  the slab is treated the same way but the walls fall outward so they are no longer at 90 degrees to the bottom.   i have to run a finger along each wall several times to make them 90 degrees.  

maybe more of us should complain to highwater.  i am about to use my last box from 2015, the year it changed.  the second last is used up and i found it was at least a little dryer than the new stuff when i rolled it out.

that’s what I find too, it’s very wet.  

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I have used the 630, the 112, and the hazelnut brown from SC. On all of the SC clays, I have found I prefer a hard cone 6, where 7 is going to 10 or 2 o'clock. AS I fire manual, this is not a problem. You also get larger speckling here than at a straight cone 6 with the 112. All of these clays work well with my basic set of glazes, and should work well with anyone elses.

 

best,

Pres

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I do mostly handbuilding. I love this body, from Sheffield   "T-3 Moist Stoneware Pottery Clay...has an excellent blend of coarse, medium, and fine grain clays to produce a superior wheel throwing body. This clay body has a tight feel for wheel work and can also be used for small to medium sized handbuilt projects. T-3S is made with screened fireclay for dependability. T-3 is also available with the addition of granular manganese specks for use in oxidation only."
 

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On 11/20/2019 at 11:51 PM, LeeU said:

I do mostly handbuilding. I love this body, from Sheffield   "T-3 Moist Stoneware Pottery Clay...has an excellent blend of coarse, medium, and fine grain clays to produce a superior wheel throwing body. This clay body has a tight feel for wheel work and can also be used for small to medium sized handbuilt projects. T-3S is made with screened fireclay for dependability. T-3 is also available with the addition of granular manganese specks for use in oxidation only."
 

Thanks LeeU.  I added it to my list of clays to check out.  I’ve never looked at the Sheffield clays so thanks for the input. 

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