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High Water Clays

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Have two questions

1. New to the East TN area and will be getting supplies from Highwater Clay. Different clays still confuse me. I need advise to know which of their clays is best for someone still learning. I bisque at 04 and fire at cone 6 with a program from Mastering Cone 6 Glazes.

2. I would like to make some oil lamps but need to know how to "safely" make the wick holder. It looks like a simple ball of clay but I would think it would absorb the oil. What clay body and can they be safe at a bisque of 04 and fired at 6?

I would like some more throwing lessons. If anyone around Pigeon Forge is offering private lessons or classes please contact me

Jamie Page

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If Highwter Clays can't answer questions they can refer you to another

potter in the area who can.

As for lessons, you're minutes away from the Arrowmont Craft School

in Gatlinburg. Arrowmont Craft Gallery (run by SHCG) is on the campus

at the corner. They might know an instructor as well. The

school has a reference library for crafts...

You're not too far from JC Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, NC.

Its out in the boonies, so you can't get there, but its fun trying.

Look into the apprenticeship programs in both schools. (There is a

a long list, I'm sure.

I make oil lamps also, both Roman and colonial. The colonial has a bead the

the wick slides in. There shouldn't be an issue with the clay body soaking up oil.

The oil I use is the lamp oil bought for Hawaiian torches, sometimes referred to

as liquid paraffin. As for wicks they can be ordered, or made from 100% cotton

rope. Ropes can be found at the Dollar Tree, as canine rope toys. Take them apart

and cut to lengths. However, they are starting to sell rope toys, with a nylon

center. I glaze just the top of wick bead, for aesthetics. After use, a lot is covered with soot.

Good luck,

Alabama

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I use several Highwater clays. You'll probably want one that vitrifies at Cone 6. Red Rock is listed by Highwater as having 1% absorbent rate at Cone 6. It is a nice buff stoneware with flecks of manganese dioxide -- similar to Standard 112. But the key for any seepage issues with oil is vitrification. They have good tech support, give them a call.

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If bottle is glazed including wick area, Less need for vitrification....

 

Vitrification is very good idea with any piece glazed or not. Along with glaze matching. Eg not crazing

 

If you really want to play safe, wedge in some grog to minimize thermal shock affects.

 

600f to 1400f ish flame temp

 

Getting consistent wick hole diameter will be task.

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High Water Little Loafers ^3 to ^6 Fairly soft out of the bag and it just does what i want it to do.. Its a white body that takes glaze nicely .. we struggled finding a clay that we both liked to throw that didnt give us fits... we throw it fairly dry but seems to take water ok.

 

Kyanite would be a good additive for shrinkage as well..

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Buncombe White seems to be Highwater's Little Loafers with Kyanite; good claybody, better absorbent than Little Loafers, but not as white. Little Loafers is also a good claybody and my standard.

 

Biglou -- I need to disagree. Vitrification is important as oil will find any crazing in a glaze and seep through -- I was told that by a potter who made oil lamps. In any case, you can't depend on the glaze to make an item water tight. Only a vitrified clay body will do that. A properly vitrified clay body will be water tight without any glazing.

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I agree there is no replacement for proper vitrification. ( no replacement for displacement )

 

I've tried to to explain. The big picture..... But most here ( local studio) don't understand or want to.

 

Yes I am the guy that has test tiles soaking on my shelves.

 

Most just want pretty glaze...... Rant off

 

What percentage do you consider vitrified?

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I've made a few oil lamps over the years and found that some bodies/glazes will 'weep' lamp oil through the base even though the body has been fired to its highest maturation temperature with a well-fitting glaze.  Axner Pottery supply sells 'Lamp Liner'.  It's a liquid for coating the inside of a clay oil lamp that seals it extremely well.  Maybe 'water-tight' is different than 'oil-tight'.  Perhaps lamp oil has 'skinnier' molecules than water?

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