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CarlCravens

Why Porcelain?

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we have 2 Porcelain bodies- Standard 213 and Grellog 365 - the 365 is awesome and has made me a better potter.. It has made me learn how to make better rims on bowls etc. not to mention the pots just feel better in hand as I can get them a little thinner than any other body I have worked with so far..

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I have switched exclusively to porcelain. Cone 10. I love the whiteness of it. I love throwing with it. Much of my work is sgraffito. Black designs on a white background, sometimes the reverse. But I also love the brightness of colored glazes on a porcelain body. So clear and bright. No grayness.

I encourage intermediate potters to try throwing with porcelain. I believe that the reason it seems so daunting, is that beginning throwers tend to work very slowly, and to use a lot of water - both of which make porcelain harder to throw. Once they learn to work with purpose, to bring clay up quickly, to be more efficient in their movements, they usually find that porcelain is no more difficult to throw than stoneware.

 

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Carl, get a 4# sample of Grellog.. make slip out of it and dip your bisque ware half way in it ..  that will give you something to compare to.. we just did that to some moon white to get better color, it was just a test to see what we could get, it is just like using the body itself.. great color results .. 

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Good work Grype! I work with ^6 Frost from Laguna for lazing. For Orbs in alternative firing I love Coleman Porcelain.

I loved working with stoneware but I don't have a reduction kiln anymore. So I work with porcelain and cone 6 Frost when I want to do functional work. For my bigger smooth burnished shapes I go to the Coleman.

 

Marcia,

 

My first attempt with procelain was with Laguna's Frost ^6 body. Do you still use it and have you ever encountered black, fine to coarse grained particles (1/16" chunks) randomly distributed throughout a bag. I have 125 lbs of this body I am reluctant to complete anything with it because of the crud. I love throwing with it. I have yet to glaze/paint it. I can send you some pictures if you want.

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I take a Summer course in alternative firing and really like Coleman Porcelain for work that will be soda fired.  You do have to cover it up as I find it grays out and looks dull without something on it.  There is a local group studio near Atlanta that fires Coleman Porcelain to Cone 6, electric and gas.  I never used the Coleman Porcelain for that cone, but I didn't hear any complaints when I asked about it at Cone 6.  I preferred Standard 365 for Cone 6, so that was my go to.

 

I do insist on porcelain with grolleg rather than the US domestic porcelain. I feel that it has a translucent, luminous, quality that domestic porcelain lacks, even at Cone 6. I have recently purchased a couple of bags of porcelain that has a New Zealand clay in it that is supposed to yield translucency at Cone 5/6, but I have not made anything with it to fire yet.  It came clear across the US from Washington State to Georgia, so it may not be a regular in my studio, although USPS fixed rate packaging kept the cost down (although the clay and boxes had been through a lot it appeared.

 

I did steer clear of porcelain for quite a time before I tried it, hearing and thinking it was difficult.  Once I tried it, I did not find it so, but by then I had increased my throwing skills.

 

John

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1. Because people think it's cool. (Just discovered this at recent show). I found it adds a elitist quality to your work. Place teeth together now say porcelain ( only partially joking).

 

2. I'm making variations of the galloway/ cushing cone 6 recipe. And it's a treat to work with. Pretty dang white . And inexpensive to make. I've used helios at lower temp range, nice and white but pricy clay, and under fired at cone 6/7. Standard recipe is close to helios

 

3. I think colors pop better in pocelain/ porcelain(ish) clays

 

4. Note cone 6 porcelain and cone 10 porcelain or higher are different , but my version of recipe the clay is much more glassy feeling and sounding than any other stone ware I've used.

 

5. Current body is transparent where thin. And prolly more so on latest mix since I subbed grolleg for tile 6. And a veegum for bentonite. This batch should be as white as helios I hope.

 

6. Contrary to popular belief. I like its feel on the wheel better than any stoneware I've thrown. The is more compliant to my will and vision.

 

7. My work area looks cleaner with white clay.

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Good work Grype! I work with ^6 Frost from Laguna for lazing. For Orbs in alternative firing I love Coleman Porcelain.

I loved working with stoneware but I don't have a reduction kiln anymore. So I work with porcelain and cone 6 Frost when I want to do functional work. For my bigger smooth burnished shapes I go to the Coleman.

 

Marcia,

 

My first attempt with procelain was with Laguna's Frost ^6 body. Do you still use it and have you ever encountered black, fine to coarse grained particles (1/16" chunks) randomly distributed throughout a bag. I have 125 lbs of this body I am reluctant to complete anything with it because of the crud. I love throwing with it. I have yet to glaze/paint it. I can send you some pictures if you want.

 

I did find some crud but not lately. The last order I picked up in San Antonio was fantastic. I even asked the laguna folks at NCEA if they had changed the recipe. Maybe it was fresh.

 

Marcia

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tom coleman developed two recipes for porcelain.  one of them is the one he uses at cone 10 and the other is called "Elaine's Porcelain" and was developed for cone 6.  aardvark makes his personal stuff.  he says they were the only people who actually made sure a 50 pound bag had 50 pounds of the ingredients to make his formula.  everyone else simply tossed a bag marked 50 pounds into the mix and reached for the next bag.  

 

elaine's work, the lovely carved pots, are made with cone 6. i believe it is available from Sheffield in massachusetts.  there are also "celadon" glazes called elaine's advertised in ceramics monthly.

 

all this info is years old, so i just checked it out on sheffield's website.  a 25 pound bag of elaine's or any other clay can be had as a sample for only $15. with the $15 applied to the first real order. 

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On 6/7/2014 at 5:10 AM, neilestrick said:

I would rather throw porcelain than anything else. After working with it for so long I actually find it easier to work with than stoneware. Nothing feels like it. The lack of plasticity is a wonderful thing once you get used to it. There is a rubbery resistance to a good throwing porcelain that feels nothing like any other clay body.

 

I don't think white stoneware clays have any real relationship to porcelain with the exception of the fact that most white stonewares are smooth and kind of whitish. Their makeup is totally different, and therefore they feel nothing like porcelain. Most white stonewares are really high in ball clays, and therefore are overly plastic in my opinion, and the fine grain of the ball clay actually makes them more prone to cracking in some instances. White stoneware does not look like porcelain when you put them side by side. Porcelain is whiter and glassier. Glazes behave differently on the two, also. The high silica content of porcelain makes it react with glazes in some very unique ways.

 

Porcelain takes in water faster, so you can't work too slowly with it, but it also dries faster which can be a godsend when you're in a hurry to get some work finished. Contrary to popular belief, it can handle fast drying as long as your pieces are well made. I often speed dry pieces in the kiln, even large ones.

 

It's just a joy to work with once you get used to it. Get a few boxes and go for it!

@neilestrick Am just starting out with porcelain Difficult ...........but love the feel .With your experience have you found a “ white “ porcelain Am using Audrey Blackman ( tho translucent)  not white I fire up 1240 c Have also tried Aneto which has an blue ice hue 

Kind regards Nicky

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