[Clayart] Jim's antique clay body quest

David Woof via Clayart clayart at lists.clayartworld.com
Sun Aug 31 10:54:53 EDT 2014


Jim says: <" Personally, I would like to find a good throwing C10 body for tableware
> that does not warp and can accept some of the traditional glazes of 50 to
> 80% feldspar (such as real temmoku or shino). Any suggestions? Please
> don't ask "what can you get"…I can get anything that major clay supply
> houses stock. If no one replies, my next step is to mine the archives of
> Alfred or Vince at ACC.">

Hi Jim, and All,

Jim it appears that as a self proclaimed "Newbie" you may be in over your head for what you are seeking.   And you are likely unsuccessfully working at skipping out on the homework.

But since I don't know you personally, but with no apology, I will shoot from the hip in a generalized "buckshot" approach and and maybe a few helpful, although perhaps stinging, pellets will hit you in a productive way.  Let us agree that most folks who get somewhere productive in clay don't initially set themselves up for added frustration, but gain basic experience and first successes through use of the established contempoary clays and glazes that are known to be compatible.   
 
For one truly new to clay, these basics can be frustrating enough w/out attempting to seek and match old glaze recipes with old clay body formulations while using contemporarily obtained materials.  And then after some success with these, begin to "pay their dues"  by doing the leg work of testing and exploration in what ever historical or particular interest trips their fancy.   

"Real temmoku or shino"  has an elitist ring to it,  and what does the term "real" mean in a practical today or broad historical sense?  Do we have time to be elitist when both hands are needed to grip the wheel while navigating the steep portion of the learning curve?   By this definition would not real glazes and clay bodies then of necessity need to be obtained using a bucket, shovel and much testing?

So another frustration in clay is wanting it all now without finding the value and fascination in doing the foot work necessary to build a repository of experience; that is the archive for understanding and recognizing the vagaries and qualities of the materials.  
Very seldom does one see success in hitching the horse so it is pushing the cart.   

Keeping a smaller 16" X 21" second kiln for quick turn-arounds in limited production and test firings is an oft overlooked solution for folks whose production time is limited. Older manual electric kilns are still available on the market and cost from free to $100.00 or so.  A real learning tool.  Write it off as tuition well spent.

Many folks have wasteful leaks in our buckets of time and money. These leaks foil productive prioritizing.   Instead of saying "can't afford this or that"  the successful person says "now how can I afford"  manage and "dispense" my time for what I want to do. 
Companion to this is our level of passion. Passion is the essence of and essential to a life well lived.    If something turns us on we will find the time and means.  Give up indulgences, libations, and pizza for a week to afford new elements.  Shut off the Blu Ray, get off the couch and skip i di do down to the studio and suddenly the days fatigue is lost to the fascination.  

Studio discipline: Sometimes late evenings to get the juice flowing again after a long day I go back up and, though perhaps initially lacking inspiration, I clean the studio till viola I am working a project in excited anticipation....... just being in that space gets it all going on again.

Also, retiring folks from other fields, very adept at mastering other disciplines, are now figuratively brought to their knees and in tears by this lowly earth substance clay and it's attending minerals.  There are no intellectualizing short cuts, and one can study books till one needs glasses and hell freezes, but, one must learn to scrub the floor among the cinders before admittance to the main hall in the castle.  And the only gate keeper is the clay itself... or our own other self getting in the way...

So the question: is one setting self up to avoid doing the actual work by a quest for the difficult or impossible instead of just humbly throwing ego and fear of failure to the four winds and getting down to "it?"   Do the leg work, pay our dues.  Attempting to save our ass and our face at the same time seldom comes to success.  Do we really want to make pots or just talk about it.

 Hoping many good pots and joy in making come your way,

David Woof
************************************************* 

> Date: Wed, 27 Aug 2014 11:03:37 -0400
> To: woodfirejim at gmail.com; clayart at lists.clayartworld.com
> Subject: Re: [Clayart] clay body
> From: clayart at lists.clayartworld.com
> 
> Hi Jim,
> 
> I don’t know much about clay bodies, but I do know that Cushing’s Handbook has several pages of recipes with some comments on how they behave. He gives recipes for raku, earthenware, cone 6-10 stoneware and porcelains. You might find some hints in there on formulating what you want. Last I heard  his handbook was still available directly from him or his wife. I don’t have an address, but someone on the list usually does when his handbook is mentioned. It is worth owning.
> 
> Regards,
> 
> John
> 
> On Aug 25, 2014, at 9:06 PM, James Miner via Clayart <clayart at lists.clayartworld.com> wrote:
> 
> > Hi all.  It may not be common knowledge among old timers that most
> > traditional glazes (containing 40+% feldspar/feldspathoid) will craze on
> > the bulk of moist clay bodies that are available for purchase.  While the
> > coefficient of thermal expansion can be estimated for glazes, it cannot be
> > reliably estimated for the body and must be determined by dilatometry or by
> > by trial and error.
> > 
> > I really like seeing glaze recipes from our teachers, the elder statesmen
> > and women of clay, but they are less useful for amateurs without some sort
> > of clay body that would fit the glaze.  This is especially necessary for
> > those who may not fire more than a few times a year and cannot test a whole
> > bunch of bodies for throwability or fit.  I recently contacted a regular
> > glaze contributor, who mentioned a couple of hundred clay body recipes that
> > he might be publishing, but that is impossible to sort through if you don't
> > fire often.
> > 
> > Since I suspect most clay recipes are handed down during school from
> > elders, perhaps those who have had benefit of academic training might
> > suggest some general clay bodies that might be worth the time for newbies
> > to formulate instead of buying moist clay.  Some sort of description, such
> > as "throws well", or "most glazes don't craze" might help us find a good
> > body.  This list serve prides itself on disseminating knowledge, but some
> > very practical questions that I have posted in the past have dropped with
> > only the reply of crickets chirping.  Who will step up and help us newbies
> > with very specific and necessary questions?
> > 
> > Personally, I would like to find a good throwing C10 body for tableware
> > that does not warp and can accept some of the traditional glazes of 50 to
> > 80% feldspar (such as real temmoku or shino).  Any suggestions?  Please
> > don't ask "what can you get"…I can get anything that major clay supply
> > houses stock.  If no one replies, my next step is to mine the archives of
> > Alfred or Vince at ACC.
> > 
> > Jim
> > MAILMAN_MIMEDEFANG WRAP
> > _______________________________________________
> > Clayart mailing list
> > Clayart at lists.clayartworld.com
> > http://lists.clayartworld.com/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/clayart
> > 
> > MAILMAN_MIMEDEFANG
> 
> MAILMAN_MIMEDEFANG WRAP
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