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So I ordered a bunch of stuff from Axner recently and Im curious what those with a full inventory of raw materials would advise me to purchase on my next go around. I have been wanting to do a darker bodied clay and Im going to use this recipe. Cone 6


Red art                  40

EPK                       18

OM4                      15

RIO                        16

Maganese Diox      6

Neph Sy                 2

Bent                        3


The recipe called for a Kaolin so being I already had EPK I figured Id give it a go. The glazes Ill be testing is...using just the soda feldspar instead of kona. Cone 6


Ball clay               40

Ferro firt #3124   30

Wollastonite         25

Dolomite               5


F-4 Feldspar              46

G. Borate                   30

EPK                           13

Silica                         11


Kona F-4 feldspar         50

Wollastonite                  20

EPK                               10

Silica                             10

Gerstrate Borate            10


Being my main direction at the moment is cone 6 and utilizing the color of the clay body primarily and surface decor. I didnt go out of my way for colorants and some things I bought just because they seemed common ingredients. I also use bentonite in green sand metal casting. The frits are for glass/clay surface testing. A thread recently sparked my interest a bit. So heres the list. all in pounds.




Ball Clay - OM-4 (sold per lb.) 50

Ball Clay - XX Sagger (sold per lb.) 50

Bentonite - 325 mesh (sold per lb.) 25

Calcium Carbonate (Whiting) 325 Mesh (sold per lb.) 50

Dolomite (Dolowhite) (sold per lb.) 25

Feldspar - Custer 200L (Potash) (sold per lb.) 50

Gerstley Borate (sold per lb.) 50    

Iron Oxide - Red Spanish (sold per lb.) 15    

Kaolin - EPK (Edgar Plastic Kaolin) (sold per lb.) 50    

Manganese Dioxide 325 Mesh (Morrocan) (sold per lb.) 25    

Neph Sy 25    

Red Clay - Red Art (sold per lb.) 50    

Rutile - Milled Ruflux 61 (sold per lb.) 2    

Rutile - Granular (sold per lb.) 2    

Ferro Frit - 3110 (Lead Free) (sold per lb.) 10    

Ferro Frit - 3124 (Lead Free) (sold per lb.) 10    

Ferro Frit - 3134 (Lead Free) (sold per lb.) 10    

Ferro Frit - 3195 (Lead Free) (sold per lb.) 10

Feldspar - Minspar 200 (Soda) (sold per lb.) 50   

Wollastonite Vansil W-20 (sold per lb.) [sHIPS OH] 50  

Darvan #7 (Dispersal) (Liquid)

Size: 1 pint


Any recommendations for my next bulk order? Im sure I bought too much of somethings at the moment, but when I found out that the pallet shipment would drastically reduce my shipping cost I decided to buy bigger.

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Where did you get that cone 6 clay recipe? Manganese Dioxide is a scary material to use in clay if you play on handling the clay. Look up the MSDS sheet, I can't remember specifics, but it has skin irritant warnings as well as central nervous system effects through prolonged use. I understand that a lot of dark clay bodies will use materials like Manganese Dioxide to achieve a good black, but at what cost?

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Well from a lot that Ive read on it is that it cannot be absorbed through the skin so there is no danger when handling the body, well obviously I cant say no danger. The danger is of course when it is in a dry form, dust inhalation. The other danger is of course from the fumes during firing. I plan to take the precautions needed. If anything, sadly there doesnt seem to be too many substitutions out there. unless I use a stain.

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For more color variations I didn't see andy copper carb. nor cobalt carbonate...for when you want more color to your base glazes.From what I have read on MSDS sheets about Manganese it can penetrate through the skin and the fumes are worse. It is believed to have seriously affected the health and lives of Hans Coper and Dave Shaner. It should be handled with care if you use it.


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I actually picked up a 50 pound bag a month ago out of Atlanta for some molds to make glass. So yes I already have silica at my disposal. I do have some copper carb from the past when I did a lot more pit firings. Yeah Im still iffy when it comes to the mag diox. Its given me a head ache from the back and forth of my decision. Either way I have a bunch of it. I was looking at another recipe from the same list I got the darker body from.


Red clay 38

EPK        24

Cornwall  10

Silica       12.5

Feldspar  13.5

Bentonite   2


Although I didnt buy cornwall. Could I just sub by balancing out the feldspar and silica? And still add RIO.

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Many dark gray/black clay bodies use manganese, however most that I have seen use smaller amounts, like 2%. The dust is going to be an issue, so take extra care to wet mop and sponge clean when you use it. I would also test it to see just how low you can get the manganese content and still get the color you want. You may find that you can reduce it quite a bit.


As for your list, you may want to add in a potash spar like Custer or G200, talc, and possibly spodumene.

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Standard 266 is beautiful clay, down right sexy and throws like a dream.....But yes I too question the manganese.

I went through a few bags of it.


Mind if I ask what shipping was on that order?


Your clay recipe looks like a lot of iron in it??? 16% rio. Sounds like a lot. I just made a glaze with 15%. It was down right dirty, nasty funky red. But I'm going to throw the proverbial flag...... I'd double check that recipe.

Ok I don't know to much about the chemistry but I've never see a body with 16% rio, not to mention additional 40% redart.. If you do don't make a large batch. And you know this will leave its mark on anything it touches . Your wedging board will look like something from dexter. Most clay texts will suggest you use raw materials with the coloring agents as much as possible, like additions of black bird/Barnard, I've been contemplating sheffield, arroyo, alberta as clay additives along with cobalt.......


You had me at ball clay, xx saggar, epk. I'm super jazzed that more people are joining the "I make my own clay". Club.

If you need any help with the mechanics of. Making clay feel free to hit me up. Most of my recipes I've already posted.


I don't think u mentioned it but custer (potash) spar is not the same as soda spar.


The red clay 38% looks better recipe.

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Well Ive been hunting and searching. Redart gets pretty dark by Cone 4 even if it has some additives. As much as so many hate the idea of a two ingredient clay I will test out the 1/2 redart 1/2 xx saggar. I also like the OM4 can have a tan color to it at higher temps especially with the addition of barium carb. Which I know is toxic but no where near the maganese level. As for the mess...trust me lou I grew up on the white sandy beaches of clearwater fl and have been dealing with the red clay of georgia for 3 or so years. I messed with local clay and had red hands for days. As for the shipping....here were the totals...first is standard, last is over night.




HAHAHA the price was so high I laughed hysterically, I mean why even show those calculations? I had been having issues with Atlanta Clay not being able to get an inventory restock. I turned to Axner and gave them a call. I mentioned shipping as an issue because of my situation, but to my surprise they have a 60 dollar pallet charge from FL to GA. Ended up not being exactly 60 but 10 for the pallet and 83 of the gas/delivery. Not bad for 610 pounds, plus i was told the pallet could have up to 1800 pounds on it. to me that was a deal....i dunno if theres better. ordered on a thursday and delivered on a tuesday. Ill take it. I just ordered two small parts from UT and paid 13 bucks for three day and for some reason its take a week and a day to get here....I will definitely make a call to them for that..

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Standard 266 is certified non-toxic, because the manganese is below a certain percent. I think it's around 2.5% if I remember correct. Of course, that certification only applies to the wet clay. Dust can still be an issue.


Adding straight iron oxide is not the best way to get iron into a body. It tends to make the body more brittle. Try to get the darkness with iron bearing clays if possible.

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