[Clayart] mixing clay, funny questions

Hank Murrow via Clayart clayart at lists.clayartworld.com
Wed Jul 22 20:49:31 EDT 2015

On Jul 22, 2015, at 2:28 PM, mel jacobson via Clayart <clayart at lists.clayartworld.com> wrote:

> one of the funny questions that comes along about every
> four years...`what would happen if i mix up my clay bodies?`.
> the answer...NOTHING.
> one i saw the other day on another network.
> `i found some pickle pails, will the smell of pickles ruin my glaze?`
> NO
> one from colleen...a girl screaming at the U of M
> `who broke a white greenware pot into the stoneware
> slop pail??...it will ruin the integrity of the stoneware clay..
> we have to pick/sift it out...now!
> colleen said, `you do it.`
> there is an old potters tale....`mix as many clays as you can
> into what you make, it makes the body happy.`

That 'old potter's tale' is in fact based upon sound science. Bob James called it the "Room Full of Basketballs" theory of claybodies.
The idea is that you want as broad a range of particle sizes as possible so that when wetted, the body holds exactly the maximum water content to wet each and every particle evenly. The bigger stuff keeps the shrinkage down, while the itty bitty particles hold the water which makes the whole thing plastic enough for throwing. Basketballs, tennis balls, golf balls, marbles, BB's, sand grains, etc. I am sure folks will recognize the notion here.

Cheers, Hank

> i have suffered fools my entire life.
> the teacher that lets kids pick, white or brown.?
> god almighty, have one clay body...use it for everything.
> mix the slop all together...make a new body.
> add grog and sand....make sculpture.
> the world gave us pug mills so we can mix it all together.
> joy.
> one of my favorite bodies of all time...make 4x25 porcelain into
> the pug
> melmill that is a fourth full of stoneware.
> run it through, then add more porcelain.
> run it through.
> a wonderful gray porcelain clay body.
> add some iron sand...specs like crazy.
> people ask, `what is that clay…????  MINE

Amen! Says the Choir______ & Hank in Eugene.

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