[Clayart] b mix 2

vpitelka at dtccom.net vpitelka at dtccom.net
Thu Sep 9 18:58:35 UTC 2021

Laguna makes versions of B-Mix without any grit, with fine grog, and with
fine sand, so no reason to add anything.  Just get the one best suited to
what you want to make.  I have used all three in the workshops I teach, and
the versions with grog or sand perform best for handbuilding.  

The Star-6 White from Starworks is similar in performance to B-Mix and
contains fine kyanite grog, and it is the best clay I have ever used.  It is
mixed as a slurry and filter-pressed and then pugged in a big deairing
pugmill, so it is about as plastic as a workable clay can be.  
- Vince

Vince Pitelka
Potter, Writer, Teacher
Chapel Hill, NC
vpitelka at dtccom.net

-----Original Message-----
From: Clayart <clayart-bounces at lists.clayartworld.com> On Behalf Of
ronroy at ca.inter.net
Sent: Thursday, September 9, 2021 2:26 PM
To: Clayart international pottery discussion forum
<clayart at lists.clayartworld.com>; mel jacobson <melpots at mail.com>
Cc: clay art <clayart at lists.clayartworld.com>
Subject: Re: [Clayart] b mix 2

Well - I have nothing against fixing clay, but when you start adding
materials, not only affects maturing temperature but how glazes are going to
react. Testing the resulting body to see how shrinkage, absorbency and color
response are affected is wise.

For instance - adding silica can affect not only the beta to alpha quartz
inversion but also the overall expansion/contraction of a clay or a glaze.

Keep in mind - lowering expansion can result in glazes with a low starting
low expansion can result in broken pots and shivering.  
Possibly the worst thing that can happen to a potters sales.

I'm not in any way saying that commercial clay bodies cannot be improved on.
Many are deficient in more than one way. But - if you don't have basic
important information obtained from your clay supplier or by testing, you
can make the situation worse.

Anyone who needs testing information - just send me an email.


Quoting mel jacobson <melpots at mail.com>:

> If someone sent me 2000 pounds of Bmix I would run it all through my 
> pug mill, add fine grog and a pure silica sand and probably some black 
> iron sand. opps, it is no longer Bmix. I can fire anyway I wish. I now 
> control the clay, it does not control me.
> If you buy any ready made product, you are tied to it.
> it controls you. it must be fired a certain way, it has limits.  I do 
> not want my pottery, work and art starting with limits.
> Laquna makes millions of tons of Bmix.  It is all the same, and 
> carefully controlled.  It means that thousands of potters are using 
> the same clay.  MN clay No1 stoneware is used be many potters. It all 
> fires the same.  Only daring potters alter the mix. It is exciting. 
> try it sometime.
> My clay body is mine, the glaze is mine, I built the kiln. That too is 
> controlled by me. I like that thought.  I like my new speckled shino 
> with black soda ash painting.  When my stamp goes on those pots it 
> means "Melpots"...not sorta mels.
> The story about the Northern Clay Center buying a  "BLoW" so that new 
> young genius' can fire as they don't know how...has me meditating in 
> technicolor.
> I smile when I think of David Woof altering everything he does...smart 
> as a whip and he can also be snotty.  Good for David. smart fellow and 
> does it all.
> David Hendley making his own cones. He is a brilliant well educated 
> potter, artist and singer.
> I remember when joe koons came to me with the "Haresfur" project and 
> the first day I said..."Joe, think kiln shelves and what happens 
> inside a sagger?"
> It was the "Key to the city".
> How many people are using rotten, bad to work with cone 6 clay?   
> thousands. They
> are tied to it.  I just added 30percent earthenware, got rid of the 
> nasty talc.
> wow, that was really hard...went back in my notes and found that 5x20
> fired to cone 6 in under five hours.
> I am now making stoneware clay with black and red iron that fires a 
> deep black/purple.
> How hard to do is that????
> I am altering my cone 11 clay with 5 percent redart, and black iron.  
> it even throws better.
> All I am talking about is "Taking Charge of your Life".  The joy of 
> being a clay directed person is the challenge, the making new, trying 
> and making a success. Be you.
> If you have to have ready made clay and `blow` kiln at $60,000, go 
> back to bed.
> . I think of Robin Hopper as a "symphony of clay, not a one note song".
> mel
> website: www.melpots.com
> www.melpots.com/CLAYART.HTML

Ron Roy
ronroy at ca.inter.net
Web page ronroy.net

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