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black mountain clay and

updated fri 19 may 06


Dale Neese on thu 18 may 06

I use Black Mountain Clay and when I was in Portland spoke with a person
from Aardvark about the clay, asking him about the manganese dioxide
content. Yes, it has some small amount of manganese dioxide but primarily an
abundance of red iron oxide. I love the way it throws and the way the glaze
results look using some Shinos, wood ash combinations on the black body. The
clay looks exceptional in salt-soda. Careful with too early reduction, it
will bloat and slump if side fired over cone 10. The clay will stain your
hands if you throw with it much. It looks more reddish on your hands like
red iron oxide. I use Black Mountain for my larger vessels and switch back
to a light stoneware blend for the bulk of my ware. I believe the only
concerns from a health safety stand point using Black Mountain is if there
were a lot of dust to breath from the clay body itself. I don't sand the
body nor allow dry clay dust of any kind to accumulate in the studio for
long. Also ingestion of clay. Don't eat food in the studio or eat the Black
Mountain clay... My gas kiln is outside and all of the fumes from the
firings are quickly dissipated. This would be my chief health concern for
anyone firing Black Mountain or any other clays indoors with an electric
kiln. Precautions that have been expressed by many others before on this

In the mail this afternoon and eagerly waited beautiful bowl I purchased
from Tony Ferguson! Beautifully thrown, altered bowl form with Crystal Matt,
Ash, and then inside a wonderful Tenmoku glaze. It would be #110 on his
website parade of hits.

Almost time to unplug the pugmill and go "no mail". Leaving for China on
Tuesday. Got the bisque load firing going on today and will hopefully see
some of you in Rockport at the Art Festival over the 4th of July holidays.
Keep those wheels spinning!

"Spin, Spin, Spin, gonna wake up in the morning and rearrange the earth
again." From the song " Texas Clay", Billy Ray Mangham 2006

Happy Trails,

Dale Tex
"across the alley from the Alamo"
San Antonio, Texas USA