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fire clay by another name

updated mon 25 aug 03


Snail Scott on sat 23 aug 03

At 11:02 PM 8/23/03 +0200, you wrote:
>...two mixing methods:
>Drying my raku body and adding it the dry mix...
>...[or] making a slurry of my raku clay and adding the Kaolin...
>Is drying the clay necessary?

It is much easier to create a slurry from
bone-dry clay than from wet clay. Really!


Alisa Clausen on sat 23 aug 03

Dear Lily and Clayart,
I read with interest the article by Linda about Wally's naked raku
technique. Without ever have seen it done, for the first time, I could
understand why to apply a glaze over the slip and how to fire it and get it
off. The interesting information also includes Wally's mixture for the
slip. He used a dry clay, plus Flint and Kaolin. I was thinking about
using my raku clay for the clay in my mix. I was at the international
ceramic center inbetween these thoughts of mixing a slip again, and had the
opportunity to ask again why we had no fire clay. No one could really
answer. Does not bother me to much because the lack of Northern American
materials has forced me to learn to use the local materials at hand. I
think an education that (happily) forced me understand more about glaze
makeup. Then boom, the missing link maybe. I think we do have fireclay,
but it not manufactured as a ceramic material. There is a type of spackle
or cement, called losely translated, fireplace and chimney patch. It is
sold in hardware and building stores. Lily, you were are right the track.

I bought a couple of kilos and am anxious to mix it like Wally's recipe.
Previously I have tried a lot of combinations of sand, Kaolin, Alumina
Hydrate, Zircopax and more with little good results. I will post the
results of the fireplace patch if they are good.

Maybe entering stupid corner. Wally says use dry clay, like a raku body or
Highwater Pheonix. I am wondering what would be the difference between
these two mixing methods:

Drying my raku body and adding it the dry mix of Kaolin and Flint and then
adding water, thereby rehydrating
the clay in the slip


making a slurry of my raku clay and adding the Kaolin and Flint to the
desired consistency.

Is drying the clay necessary?

The seminar at the International Ceramic Center was about Sculpture and
Architecture. I thought the information was too dense be presented in
lecture after lecture. However, the information was interesting in general
and the visiting artists were great to get to know a bit. I especially
liked meeting Robert Harrison from Archie Bray and Neil Forrest from Halifax
Univ. It is always a wonderful place to be a part of.

regards from Alisa in Denmark
Planning Ian Currie workshop for Sept. 27 and 28 in coordination with
Soenderborg Pottery School.