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Course Clay Bodies


Natania

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I always admire the course and chunky clay bodies I see used in work of potters I admire (usually online, and usually from other countries). My question is, if one wants to use clay like this, does one have to make it themselves? I am assuming so, since the look is so different from the even and processed clay I've bought here in the states. I fire to mid-range oxidation, and I know the work in the link below, for example, is high fire wood and salt/soda, but out of curiosity: how would one begin? Could one add very course grog to a clay body and get this kind of look? What else might one add?

 

http://www.goldmarkart.com/teabowl-5.html

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It's extremely hard to get a reduction look in a oxidation firing.  I would start with Laguna WC 403 speckled buff and wedge some saw dust into it or some large grog particles.  The only way I can think of replicating the larger iron spots is using dots of a black\brown  mat glaze.  I have never gone down this particular path but this should give you a good jumping off point.    Denice

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What I enjoy about the Goldmark site is the videos of the artists talking about their work, the people who influenced them, etc.

 

http://www.goldmarkart.com/anne-mette-hjortshoj-paying-honest-attention.html

 

 

She uses local clay for slips and for mixing in her ash glazes; she says she does not use local clay for clay bodies as the local clay is an earthenware that does not fire to high temperatures.

 

You can add materials to commercial clay ... chunks of feldspar, granite, grog, etc., or ilmenite will give you the black speckles. You can bisque small chunks of other color clays and add them a clay body. You could slake down a really rough, coarse clay body into a slip and apply it over your wares. Or, throw a coarse clay body (Soldate 30 is a great for taking off the top few layers of your skin) and then use water on a sponge to remove the fine clay leaving a really rough surface. You can apply a soda ash wash to the outside to get a sheen on the surface, perhaps over some thin slip or terra sig, that looks more like a fuel kiln than electric fired. You just have to play around and experiment to see what works.

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iron pyrite particles around the 20 mess size when added to a clay body will give speckles in the clay.  BUT iron pyrite also is volatile and can burn if used in high quantities.  Adding about 50 gm per 1,000 gm clay should not be a problem.  It does stink as the sulfer burns out. When the sulfur burns out it is essentially small specks of red iron oxide.

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Guest JBaymore

One fast answer for ya' in a commercial body: GROGZILLA.

 

Available from Clay Planet in California. I order a bit ever year from them. The shipping is WAY more than the clay price.

 

Often I then add more granite and feldspar chunks to it. But it is pretty interersting as it sits.  Best in woodfire.

 

The body is intended to look a bit like the good Shigaraki (Japan) clay. It misses that mark by a lot..... but is still good.

 

best,

 

.......................john

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I just wedge in a ton of grog to my favorite clay body. Experiment! It's really fun when your clay feels like a sand castle. 

 

Hint: The work involved wedging in a ton of grog to a clay body is awful. It is much much much easier to mix in large amounts of grog if you are recycling clay or mixing it yourself. Also, if you use chicken grit, get a very small grit (which is still large). Once I used huge chunks and my clay cracked all around the chunks. And the smaller chunks flux out better than larger ones.

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I just wedge in a ton of grog to my favorite clay body. Experiment! It's really fun when your clay feels like a sand castle. 

 

Hint: The work involved wedging in a ton of grog to a clay body is awful. It is much much much easier to mix in large amounts of grog if you are recycling clay or mixing it yourself. Also, if you use chicken grit, get a very small grit (which is still large). Once I used huge chunks and my clay cracked all around the chunks. And the smaller chunks flux out better than larger ones.

Like this?

post-25544-0-74300400-1405303050_thumb.jpg

post-25544-0-74300400-1405303050_thumb.jpg

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Guest JBaymore

Once I used huge chunks and my clay cracked all around the chunks. And the smaller chunks flux out better than larger ones.

 

Then there is me.

 

I deliberately want the clay to crack as it shrinks around the larger stones.  And long wood kiln firings is what it takes to melt the stones.... or repeated short firings (accumulated heat work). 

 

Some of my high rock content work takes the equivalent of about 10 full days of firing.

 

http://community.ceramicartsdaily.org/uploads/gallery/album_134/gallery_1543_134_384739.jpg

 

best,

 

......................john

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I just wedge in a ton of grog to my favorite clay body. Experiment! It's really fun when your clay feels like a sand castle. 

 

Hint: The work involved wedging in a ton of grog to a clay body is awful. It is much much much easier to mix in large amounts of grog if you are recycling clay or mixing it yourself. Also, if you use chicken grit, get a very small grit (which is still large). Once I used huge chunks and my clay cracked all around the chunks. And the smaller chunks flux out better than larger ones.

Like this?

 

Exactly like that. :)

 

 

I deliberately want the clay to crack as it shrinks around the larger stones. And long wood kiln firings is what it takes to melt the stones.... or repeated short firings (accumulated heat work).

Nice cup John. I love that you use chunks of feldspar in your pots. The chicken grit I used was much larger than the chunks in this cup.
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John...does the cracked, parched earth look, eventually close up after multiple or extended firing?

 

I had one piece not crack In bisque, and ended up with melted granite drips, with one shortish firing. Is there a secret?

 

Or is this a decision of the kiln deities?

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Guest JBaymore

If you don't have a long firing kiln.... refire... refire.... refire.  When it is done... it will let you know. 

 

Sometimes after the first noborigama firing.... it could doubkle for a surform rasp.

 

The chunks in the yunomi pictured there were everything from fines up to 3/8" in size.  And there were more rocks than clay. 

 

best,

 

......................john

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Everyone keeps telling me that you just cant get that kind of look without doing woodfire. Thats all fine and good but dont let it stop you from experimenting away!

I rolled in a handful of small stones from my fishtank (after washing thoroughly of course) I'd consider this very course LoL. They melted at cone6. The medium is limited only to your imagination. Maybe along the way trying to get close to what you want you'll find something even better. Btw my pot is definitely not food safe :lol:

927742_696404783741526_919856448_n.jpg

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