[Clayart] the pug mill

Paul Gerhold gerholdclay at gmail.com
Tue Aug 21 12:12:56 EDT 2018

But I sure wish there was an equivalent white body cause my glaze pallet isn't real happy on dark bodies and my glazes are about thirty five years of playing. 


> On Aug 21, 2018, at 9:45 AM, mel jacobson <melpots at visi.com> wrote:
> without question,  if you are going to be making
> pots on into the future...a pug mill will be your best
> friend.  along with a few advancer lite weight shelves
> for those top shelves that get so heavy....as you age
> these tools become valued.
> buying ready made clay is what is going on in our
> country.  it is just a fact...the other fact is that you
> will never know what your clay is, or what is in the
> bag.  it says...white, cone 2-12....broad range.
> and, saying any clay is broad range is plain silly.
> all this chatting about redart addition to stoneware is
> just a way of trying to get folks to realize that a fine,
> workable clay in a dark color, and is vitrified is not that
> difficult.  replication of the fine gas fired pots at cone 10
> is rather easy if you have a clay color that is dark brown.
> many of us for years have shunned electric firing because
> of the ugly, non vitrified clay.  those commercial buff colors just do
> not make one sing. and to sell white clay for low temps and calling
> it porcelain (old debate) is not worth the time to debate.
> as paul has mentioned, we can make pots with any clay. it takes
> time to learn, and exceptional skill.  but, i don't want to spend that
> time and energy to make my pots.  i want an A+ clay body every day.
> 24/7...365.   and that should be the choice of every potter/clay maker
> on the planet.  great clay, to make great work.
> my old walker pug mill has served me for thirty years. i can modify any
> clay body, add water to loosen it up...make an experimental body, add
> color to any clay. 
> i do not make my clay from scratch.  never have.  in fact right now i am
> using scrap clay from a friend that does commercial like production.  i get
> tons of clay...just have to pick it up.  it is a standard cone 10 iron bearing
> clay.  good stuff.  it would be tossed out, as in production,  it costs more to
> re/cycle then buy new. (in multi ton lots.)
> i throw that clay in the pug mill, add sand, black sand, some water and
> other secret ingredients.  when it comes out the snout, ready to throw.
> when i decided to make mel6 i just weighed out 100 lbs of stoneware scrap
> and added thirty pounds of redart.  added ochre and black iron and it was
> perfect on the first trial.  in fact when i am re/cycling the mel6 i just throw
> in scrap stoneware and a big scoop of redart.  no careful to the gram measurements.
> there are lots of used pug mills out there...no need to spend thousands of dollars.
> match up the costs based on your production and know what room you have for the
> mill.  and, i know many of you cannot even think of adding more stuff to your space.
> (and that is fine.)
> what i am trying to do is encourage folks to plan ahead for your old age.
> just like...`a wood kiln is hell at 60.
> so, just thoughts to dwell on.
> mel
> -- 
> Mel's Website:  www.melpots.com
> http://www.melpots.com/CLAYART.HTML
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