Potters & Sculptors - Making Rock from Mud
Sorry I was not able to retrieve the rest of the discussion I started. At any rate, I taught 3 classes a week, 2 adult, beginning to intermediate class as well as a children's handbuilding class along with demo veneus in my geographical location.
It has taken me the last thre years to get where I am today in using clay bodies I can handle. I am still looking for that elusive clay body which I have been searching for to futility. I know it is out there for me.
My journey back to clay has been slow and I have learned a lot about myself and that was I did not have very much patience with myself. I am happy to report I am way over that.
I had a long military career in the Air Force and perhaps that allowed me to adapt and overcome.
Next time I will include photo's of some of my work past and present work.
I love working with a cone 10 porcelain from Plainsman as it handles really well with the way I work but can't fire my gas kiln where I live and my little electric kiln only goes to cone 6. I'm using a smooth, buff stoneware that vitrifies at cone 6 now (M340 from plainsman) but it just doesn't behave the way the P700 does and I'll never be able to work as thinly or get the translucence I love. If only you could mix and match to get exactly the qualities you need in the perfect clay!
It is difficult to know your limits and work within new parameters, patience with yourself would be a very valuable skill!
Clay in and of itself can be very fickle indeed. Currently I find using Highwater "Little Loafers" offer me a porcelain feel (easy to throw and center) and a white body that takes most of my ^6 glazes for happy results.
I cannot throw soldate anymore which I used for many years making large raku pieces. Having said that I am looking for an alternative I can use that would give me raku opportunities. I used porcelain once for raku and did not like the results. Perhaps B-mix (when fresh I can throw it), have you any experience using it and or for raku for that matter.
I've used a plainsman stoneware that has quite a bit of grog and is formulated for pit firing. I quite liked it but I coiled with it and couldn't even imagine the wear and tear on my hands if I attempted to throw it! I haven't tried raku, yet but intend to.
I have a cone 6 porcelain that fires translucent but doesn't hold up to hndbuilding as well as the cone 10 porcelain does. I have used a cone 6 b-mix and found it very smooth and nice for hand building but lacking that translucency that I want. My studio has been a bit of a mess with different clays that all look pretty similar whether wet, dry, or bisqued so I am trying to settle on one clay and using slips to change things up a bit.
I love B-mix too. Weather B-mix will hold up to the rigers of raku I do not know, I am up to the challenge for my test goals. My test kiln is small enough for a couple small bowls and a few beads which has been invaluable for my needs.
My slab roller has been working overtime in using up heavy grog clays in my inventory. I love making tiles and I have turned out some very nice pieces along the lines of Majolica or sprigged impressed, and slip trailed. I still get my clay addicition taken care of and less issues with hands, arms and back.
Has anyone ever tried once fired raku?
I would try the single firing group for your rake question Ann. You'll find it in the interest group drop down menu at the top of this page and you need to request to join but that is just a formality that is done quickly.
I've made a few tiles and am very interested in making murals for the wall/fireplace surround/backsplash etc. I really enjoy them as well as small pieces such as pendants, beads, ornaments etc incorporating stained glass in them. I found working in stained glass very hard on my hands so have a lot of it to use. The fit doesn't work with clay so it cracks but is very pretty for decorative use and I think it would be terrific in tiles.