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Identify chemicals and what they are used for

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I belong to a organization of potters that has been in existence for about 55 years.  Over that time retiring members have donated their chemicals to the Club and some of these have been used and some have been shoved to the back of the cupboards.  We work in a studio in a public building.  As we are going through a big reorganization of the studio we want to identify the uses of some of these materials we have been given and work out if they are of use to us or if we need to find a new home for them.  I will list the materials and if anyone can help me as to their use I would greatly appreciate that.  Or faling that is there a site I could consult?  We use glazes that fire to Cone 6.

Aluminum oxide

Barnard clay

Black iron oxide

Burnt sienna

Burnt umber

Calcium carbonate precipitated


CMC gum

Iron ferrite

Kaolin calcined

Kaolin Tile 6

Kaolin Pioneer

Kona Feldspar

Lincoln fire clay

Magnesium oxide

Monarch china clay


Red Art Clay

Richler Pass Ash

Saggar clay

Tennessee Ball Clay

Thompson China Clay White silica - coarse

White silica - coarse

Many thanks, Lin


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11 hours ago, LinR said:

Richler Pass Ash

On very little evidence this might be a grass-ash (rather than a wood-ash).
South Okanagan Grasslands Protected Area
The Richter Pass has long been a priority for conservation efforts in the Okanagan. The primary role of the South Okanagan Grasslands Protected Area is to protect the dry grasslands and open forests that represent one of the four most endangered ecosystems in Canada.

Glazy has some lawn-ash analyses at https://glazy.org/materials/15037

The materials section at glazy might complement digitalfire's coverage

Digitalfire also has
Those Unlabelled Bags and Buckets

Edited by PeterH
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I would keep the kaolins, can sub those quite easily in glaze recipes. Calcined kaolin I would keep, use it as part of the kaolin in any glazes that crawl due to high kaolin amounts.  (have to recalc the amount used to sub for un-calcined kaolin) 

Alumina oxide can be used in place of alumina hydrate in kiln wash (use 1/3 less by weight).

If anyone uses washes then the Barnard, Burnt Sienna and Umber can be used in those if they want dark/earthy colours.

Kona (F4) can be subbed for Minspar 200 in a 1:1 ratio.

Tennessee Ball comes in different forms, given how inexpensive ball clay is I would donate that one if you don't know which you have. Fireclay, Sagger clay and mullite, unless someone is making their own bodies I'ld donate those. Redart can be used in bodies and glazes.

Silica sand, might be useful if someone is firing large heavy pieces or wants to wedge into their clay but if nobodies used it for years maybe not worth keeping.

CMC gum, mostly used for making brushing glazes or hardening a dusty glaze.

Calcium Carb precipitated, this is just whiting/calcium carb, keep it. 

Black Iron Oxide, can be used in glazes, need to compare the iron content with whichever red iron oxide you are using to sub it. It doesn't create the red staining mess that red iron oxide does.


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Thank you everyone for the info you have given me.  Who knew that someone in the UK would know Richler Pass?  But as we are in BC that is a good probability.  All this information is very useful and will help us sort out what we should keep and what goes.

Yes we make our own glazes but as a group and individual members do not have access to these chemicals.  I suspect we will want to get rid of anything that is Toxic.  Unwanted chemicals will be offered to members who do make their own glazes in their own studios and then to other organizations which have pottery classes.

Thank you so much,


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