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coleman workshop/clay

updated wed 10 jun 98


Joyce Lee on tue 9 jun 98


Wish I had the qualifying credentials (like experience and knowledge) to
respond to your question about Tom's claybody...however, that doesn't
restrain many of us on here goes with a very personal,
anecdotal and simplistic answer..... Tom used his own B-mix clay AND his
porcelain clay for the workshop. Although we could bring our own, nobody
did. The B-mix also fires white. My pots in both porcelain and B-mix
did not crack nor did I see cracks in anybody else's work. I've used
Tom's porcelain prior to this (purchased through Aardvark), although I
have difficulty throwing with porcelain but am getting better and his
makes for a much easier throw than the others I've attempted. Tom
demonstrated huge, huge porcelain platters, mugs, bowls, pitchers,
teapots, vases and they showed no cracks. His teabowls (bourbon bowls he
called them) were thin enough to see through. The B-mix was easier to
throw for me but I love the porcelain and purchased all I could haul
home. Again, no cracks on anybody's pots. I must say (gonna' jinx
myself here) that I haven't had cracks with the Laguna B-mix either,
which I attribute to my continuing state of novicedom = out of fear, I
compress, compress, compress, use ribs for further compression and dry,
candle and fire very, very slowly. So far, hundreds of pots (probably
more)in many clays and only two cracks and those both were in the same
firing when I was in a hurry to take pots for rakuing to a workshop and
dried faster than usual for me. Other Coleman workshop participants more
experienced than I (but who are not on Clayart), threw many and varied
forms with the porcelain and commented on its super plasticity, ease of
throwing etc. All positive comments. No negatives. One of the
participants also made very large plates and pasta bowls...again, no
cracks. We did protect our forms from drafts and dried for a time under
plastic etc. The largest forms were not fired during the workshop since
they needed more drying time, and were to be bisqued and either picked
up at a later date or donated to local charitable sales etc, whatever
the participant chose. A few of Tom's regular students and space-renters
wandered in and out. They all use his clays (not a requirement for
renting)and are very happy with their results...commented on the unusual
plasticity etc.

That's about all I know. If this is unclear, let me know and I'll give
it more thought instead of honoring my compulsive need to respond to ALL
questions on the spot. Wish Tom or Elaine would get on Clayart...

Going out to check on the plates she threw on a hump mold yesterday with
the very same Coleman the Mojave.