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Creating flecked clay

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I usually use a clay body called ‘lava fleck’ which reacts beautifully with the glaze I use, and I leave a portion of my pieces naked - so the clay is really important to the work. 

here’s the problem - it’s out of stock and I have an order (my first!) from a shop which I need to fulfil ASAP. 

does anyone have any ideas on how I might be able to recreate the flecked surface using a different clay. I have minimal stores of lava fleck, which I could mix. But I really don’t want to loose the effect of the fleck! Or does anyone have any recommendations for an alternative? 


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I am experimenting with a slip made from  some very dark coarse clay that I have a love/hate relationship with.  By itself, it tends to small pits and bumps when fired, but i love what glaze does on it (especially one particular glaze which is sage colored).

Have just taken the first of the pots out of a bisque fire, and getting ready to glaze.  Will update.

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I’m assuming you’re working with lavafleck from Potclays. It’s got a very distinct look to it, and I think by the time you tried to backwards engineer that look, the original might be back in stock. The German suppliers seem to have a lot of options that could work, but shipping may be a factor in trying to substitute.

From a first order standpoint, I think the worst thing you can do is to try and hide a big, time consuming problem to solve from the customer. Especially if the proposed solution looks different than the original item. But you still want to look like a professional. I find if you know there’s going to be an unforeseen problem, but you communicate early and come to them with a couple of possible solutions to choose from, it shows you’re in control of the situation and looking after them.

If it was me, I’d contact Potclays and ask when they anticipate the restock so that I could give an updated timeline if the customer wants to wait for the exact thing they ordered.

Second option is to find a substitute clay that looks similar, show them what that would look like as an alternative, and advise of any changes in order delivery due to material shipping. 

The third option would be to use your existing stock as a slip over another clay body, but you’ll need to do a couple of tests to ensure compatibility. While you’re talking to Potclays about restock times, you could ask them if they’ve got another stoneware in stock with similar shrinkage, especially dry to wet shrinkage, that would work as a good base. You will want to run a test or 2 to make sure this solution works as anticipated.


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