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Dottie

Going from Eartheware to Stoneware - need tips

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Hi, everyone.  I've been working with earthenware for a couple of decades now, doing mostly hand-built work and sculptures, too, around 1-2 feet tall, all on a white clay surface with underglaze and glaze finishes.  I've begun throwing bowls, etc.,  now and want to switch to a stoneware that would be compatible with all three methods of construction (sculpture, hand-building, and throwing).  However, I can't seem to find a white stoneware that fits all my needs.  Is there a way I could give it a white surface for my underglazes to look good on?   (I've attached a photo of one of my little sculptures, around a foot tall.)

I have never used stoneware and don't know much at all  about it and can't seem to find any "how-to's" on using it.   I'm not necessarily asking for a tutorial from anyone here but rather some recommendations on sources that I might be able to use to  learn as much as possible about working with stoneware, its properties, how it behaves, etc.  

Thanks in advance,

 

Dottie

1 sit dog sculp green b.jpg

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Since you want to try out stoneware, you might try Laguna B-mix ^5. It is a white clay that I use primarily for throwing, and I've also used it for hand building and a sculpture with good success. What range are you looking to fire to?

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welcome,  you might want to add another website to your search.   it is something like Cone6pots,  google that one and you will find a community of potters of all types who work at cone 6 with stoneware.  cone 6 is a very wide field with all kinds of clay that is useful for your purpose.   the difference between the groups is that this one seems to have more people who are interested in making their own glazes, physically making  kilns or other equipment and much more technical and chemistry interests than the other one.  there are many who fire porcelain and stoneware to cone 10 here.    those folks appear to mainly use commercial glazes.  

both are very useful but there is that slightly different emphasis.  it would also be very helpful to put your location in your avatar so we know what country you live in.  

BTW that is my dog but he is black and white, not green and white unless he rolls in the grass too much.

Edited by oldlady
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Thanks to you all; a lot of good information from you.

Individually, JohnnyK.  I want to use the lowest cone I can and still have the strength, etc., of stoneware, which I thought was 6 (didn't know there was a 5 stoneware).  

Oldlady, I live in Washington (state).  Thanks for all your info.  And, yes, my daughter has a black-and-white dog, too, who often resembles this little guy.  And I use commercial glazes only because I've not found the time to learn to make my own.  I tried once, a long time ago, and the fit was awful, so I have just stuck to commercial items.  I'm hoping to learn a lot more about doing my own, though.  I'm pretty old myself and have been doing this work all these years, but I'm never afraid to learn something new -- just getting a very late start this time!

 

LiamBesaw, hi, neighbor!  I live in Ellensburg.  I thought about using a white slip; but since there were no very white stoneware clays that I could find (Seattle Pottery), I figured there wasn't a white slip I could use.  Would you mind  recommending one for me to use on around a cone 6 stoneware?  And I might add that I'll be finding the whitest stoneware I can to work with.

 

Thanks again to all of you.  This is so much help to me.

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@Dottie What brands of clays do you have available to you? We might be able to recommend a clay body that will work for you. Working with stoneware isn't all that different from earthenware. Every clay body is different, though, and that is the bigger issue, not the firing temp. You'll get more shrinkage with stoneware, but as far as building techniques you won't have to change much of anything if you find a good clay body.

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5 minutes ago, Dottie said:

Thanks to you all; a lot of good information from you.

Individually, JohnnyK.  I want to use the lowest cone I can and still have the strength, etc., of stoneware, which I thought was 6 (didn't know there was a 5 stoneware).  

Oldlady, I live in Washington (state).  Thanks for all your info.  And, yes, my daughter has a black-and-white dog, too, who often resembles this little guy.  And I use commercial glazes only because I've not found the time to learn to make my own.  I tried once, a long time ago, and the fit was awful, so I have just stuck to commercial items.  I'm hoping to learn a lot more about doing my own, though.  I'm pretty old myself and have been doing this work all these years, but I'm never afraid to learn something new -- just getting a very late start this time!

 

LiamBesaw, hi, neighbor!  I live in Ellensburg.  I thought about using a white slip; but since there were no very white stoneware clays that I could find (Seattle Pottery), I figured there wasn't a white slip I could use.  Would you mind  recommending one for me to use on around a cone 6 stoneware?  And I might add that I'll be finding the whitest stoneware I can to work with.

 

Thanks again to all of you.  This is so much help to me.

You can mix a slip up yourself, Seattle pottery supply has all the materials for it, it's pretty easy!

Here's a link to a white all purpose slip, you can find other recipes as well, if they're not white enough for you, you can add some zircopax to whiten it up.

https://ceramicartsnetwork.org/ceramic-recipes/and-terra-sigillatas/all-purpose-white-slip-3/

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On 1/20/2020 at 1:42 PM, Dottie said:

I live in Washington (state).  Thanks for all your info.

As mentioned Clay Art Center in Tacoma is great and they have a nice porcelain that we use and have shipped to Texas:  

CL192 JG 6 - MID-RANGE PORCELAIN CONE 4-6:

A nice throwing cone 6 porcelain, fires to a creamy off white color.  This clay body is very vitreous at cone 6.  Cone 4-6.  Cone 6, Wet Color off-white, Oxidation Color off-white, Reduction Color off-white, Texture smooth, Shrinkage 13.0%, Absorption 0.5%.

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Thanks again for all your help.   Okay, another question now:  The most obvious reason I'm switching from earthenware is so that I can do some functional work instead of only my decorative work, which I am really, really tired of doing.  The question is:  Which works better for that purpose, cone 6 stoneware or cone 6 porcelain?  I will still want to use bright colors on some of my work, so I need to take that into consideration.  And in the past, I've used only commercial "colorants" such as underglazes.  Until I learn a whole lot of new stuff, I'm going to need to continue using those until I have learned about creating my own materials.  I've read that Amacon velvet underglazes work well up to Cone 6 but haven't tested them.  Do they keep their color pretty well?

And to the person who mentioned the Clay Art Center in Tacoma, no, it is absolutely not too far for me to go.  And to the other person who mentioned the cone6 forum, it's a treasure-trove of information.  Thanks.  

Thank all of you SO MUCH!  I'm so grateful for all the information you're giving me.  

 

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well I'm told porcelain is harder to throw than stoneware but I learned on porcelain so I have no point of reference. It's a different look but I think most feel porcelain will likely deliver more vibrant colors. Maybe get a box of each (work hard at keeping it and scrapes separated) and do some experimenting and see which you seem to like working with the best.

Edited by Stephen

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Another easy to throw porcelain from Tacoma is their Glacier Porcelain.  Neither JG6 or Glacier throw like their Grolleg porcelain, which is like throwing cream cheese.  I'm guessing there is some ball clay in both the JG6 and Glacier. (glazes are easier to fit the JG6 rather than the Glacier) Quinn, the owner, is helpful at choosing claybodies based on what you are looking for. 

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Hmmm, I like the idea of getting a box of each, stoneware and porcelain, and trying each.  I presume the same coloring materials work on each, and I can ask the clay dealer which clear glazes I'll need.  I feel as if I'm just starting with clay, after all these years.    I do remember years ago, I did try a bag of Cone 6 porcelain, and it didn't seem very difficult to throw, although I was just playing around with some small pieces.

Can't wait to get down to Tacoma but absolutely must go by Uwajimaya in Seattle on my way!   And from what some of you are saying, CAC will be pretty helpful in getting me started in a new and exciting direction.

So fun to try, and hopefully succeed at, something new.

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dottie, i was going to tell you to visit the Real Mother Goose gallery in downtown portland for inspiration but just found that it has closed in downtown and is only at the airport now.  might be too hard to visit there but the old downtown shop was fabulous.

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Hi.  Yes, I used to live in Portland before I moved here to Ellensburg with my daughter and her family; and before it was closed, I used to go to the Real Mother Goose often.  When it was at the airport only, I only saw it when it I went somewhere and had to be at the airport.  And, yes, there was a lot of inspiration there.  Here in Ellensburg, there's pretty much nothing to see, and I only go to Seattle when I have to.  My little town is a dream come true in so many ways, but galleries (and restaurants and interesting stores of any sort, etc.) are few and far between here.  But it's safe, beautiful, lots of outdoor opportunities, a nice university, pretty darned good weather, so I try not to complain too much.  

In the meantime, I look at gallery websites online, and there are a lot of really good ones to look at, too.

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The Seattle pottery supply c6 porcelains I've tried them all.  You can roll a 1lb ball up for throwing and by the time you sit down at the wheel it has flattened out.  I've heard good things about clay art centers porcelains though!

I have yet to make it down there, it's about as long as driving to visit you from my house!

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Hi Dottie,

Thanks for starting this thread. I, too, want to make the transition from white earthenware (cone 06) to a mid-range (cone 6) white clay body so I don't have much advice but appreciate reading the advice and guidance you are getting. I hope you don't mind if I tag along.

While I have a home studio and kiln of my own, I decided to take a hand building class at my local art center (Lill St) in order to experiment with porcelain (Standard 257 - cone 10) just to get a feel for it and some guidance. So far, amazingly, I've not found the porcelain too difficult to work with. There certainly are aspects of the clay that take some getting used to... like anything new...but it's not impossible or terribly problematic. I will, in the end, want to work with  a cone 6 porcelain (likely Standard 365 which I can get locally) and suspect it will behave similarly, right?

Regarding glaze... I've been using Amaco Velvet underglaze (black) on all of my earthenware and will continue to use it on whatever cone 6 porcelain I end up with. My biggest concern is a clear glaze. I am not in a position to make my own glazes and will be relying on what is available commercially. I've done some research. There are several makers (The Ceramic Shop, Spectrum, Coyote) and wonder if the experts here have any advice about cone 6 clear commercial glazes. I realize, from an earlier post, that this may not be the best forum to find and get that kind of advice but I really like this forum and wonder if there is some experience here.

Thanks in advance!

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5 hours ago, tinypieces said:

Regarding glaze... I've been using Amaco Velvet underglaze (black) on all of my earthenware and will continue to use it on whatever cone 6 porcelain I end up with. My biggest concern is a clear glaze. I am not in a position to make my own glazes and will be relying on what is available commercially. I've done some research. There are several makers (The Ceramic Shop, Spectrum, Coyote) and wonder if the experts here have any advice about cone 6 clear commercial glazes. I realize, from an earlier post, that this may not be the best forum to find and get that kind of advice but I really like this forum and wonder if there is some experience here.

Thanks in advance!

If you're going to be using Velvets at cone 6, I would stick with Amaco's clear, as the Velvets sometimes have color issues at cone 6 and that's less likely to happen with their glaze.

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2 hours ago, LeeU said:

I have used Cool Ice (Australian) porcelain  (cone 6) from Seattle Pottery Supply and it is just awesome, in my opinion, and is as white as white can be. 

Yeah I don't get a discount on that one because it's imported and it's like 25 bucks a box or something crazy like that.  I'm sure it's worth every penny though, every thing I've seen and read about using those Australian/New Zealand ice porcelains has been top notch.  I might have to spring for a box next time I reload.

Edited by liambesaw

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