Whaddya made outta?

I often say wood firing is about the clay you use. One of the reasons I haven’t used porcelain all that much is that I really like a clay with a rough character. Because I haven’t been able to trim the smooth porcelain in an aggressive way I was pleased to be able to tear away at the slip cast vases I made.
Just to show y’all I haven’t gone completely gaga over the white candy here are a couple of pieces made using sculpture clay. The vase is pressed molded dark brown sculpture clay from Tuckers and the handles and teapot saucer are the same clay. It has probably 25% grog in it so it shows stretching and tearing beautifully.
If wood firing is about the clay you use then you should show it. I saw many samples of the Starworks Clay fired in Cassius Clay and Queen Anne over the past week and I love that clay. It has so many different sized particles in it so for an aggressive trimmer/maker like me it is a dream clay. That clay is so siliceous it looks like it got a heavy salting in both our kilns. We both put a lot of wood through the kiln. I don’t see why you need to salt/soda a wood kiln if you do longer firings especially if you pick your clay wisely.
Both of my clay bodies have silica sand added to them. The silica sand is cheap! It gives the clay character, opens it up for ease of drying and attracts alkaline vapour from the wood flame. Bruce Dehnert wedges wet silica sand into his porcelain so that he can trim aggressively and rip and tear. Ya, I am a big fan of Bruce’s work. The 3 amigos most represented in my collection are Ronnie the Rat, Bruce Dehnert and Bruce Cochrane.  I can’t seem to get enough of their work.
Tucker’s Pottery Supply here in Canada also make a Cone 6 white clay they call porcelain MCS that seems to be popular here in wood kilns. It is white, hard and vitrified so if that is the definition of porcelain I guess it is. This clay fires to temperatures in excess of Cone 13 without problem. It is a very smooth and tight body. Duncan Aird His Lordship of Queen Anne uses it and coming from the front of Queen Anne it looked like blown glass. Her Lady M used the Starworks and hers looked like German salt glaze. So are you ruff and tuff or smooth and slick?

Whadda ya made outta?


Popular Posts