Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Glazing and a new clay.

Sunday studio time again, with two pictures.  I spent most of my time glazing these pots:

With any luck they should be fired and ready to travel in time for the holidays.  Here's hoping, right?  While I was there, our VP Tom (whose duties include facilities/materials upkeep/inventory) asked me if I'd be willing to throw with a new clay he picked up at our supplier's while he was down there last week.  The clay in question is ^5 Red B-Mix, and the pots I threw can be seen below.

B-Mix, if you'll remember, is the super-throwable white clay I started using a couple months ago.  So when Tom asked me if I'd be willing to throw half a bag (~12 pounds), I was more than willing.  Mostly he wanted an alternative opinion on its throwability, as well as somebody willing to dome some glaze testing on it.  So here's four little vases, and I still have about four pounds left to go.  I'm not sure if I'll go back and do a couple vases, or a few little footless bowls. 

After four throws, my opinion is more-or-less positive.  The clay throws nicely, and as red clays go, doesn't stain too badly.  My hands were slightly reddened for most of the day, but I don't see any abnormal coloration today - something I wouldn't be able to say 36 hours after throwing with some of the other red clays the Guild stocks.  Unfortunately for Tom, what he really wanted from the Red B-Mix was a red-body clay that throws smoother than the others we have.  Which it does.  But not by much.

Traditional B-mix is a very fine clay, the slurry from throwing is silty at its worst, and it trims like butter.  The Red B-Mix, in addition to colorants, has a little grog added, and it was definitely noticable.  Not as bad a SB-Red or Santa Fe, but not even close to standard B-Mix.  And it seemed a little more coarse even than the Spec-Buff stoneware that I normally throw with.  Which could be wrong, but it's just my take on it.  So that's my review of the Red B-Mix, and that's it for today.

I will be in the studio once or twice more this week and should have plenty of new pots to shoot and show before I take some time off for the holidays.  Not that I wouldn't love to spend Christmas Day in the studio, but I don't think I'd want to spend Christmas Day in the studio...


Pamela Joy said...

Those mountain pieces are so gorgeous!

Luke said...

Thanks, Pam - they're pretty fun to make!

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