I need some expert advice please.

Bob

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A question for all of the potters out there.

I would like to play around and try my hand at making a few simple pots. Roll some clay into slabs and build from there according to the directions given in an old Bonsai Today magazine. I don't have tons of money to experiment with so my question is: What one type of clay would you suggest for a rookie? My daughters art teacher has kindly offered to fire whatever I come up with and I'd like to take her up on the offer.

Thanks in advance.

Bob.
 

garywood

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Hi Bob, I'll Try and start with the first priority.Find out from teacher what cone (temp) she fires. If it is only low fire there will be problems, possibly, with making weatherproof pots. Rather than doing a lot of guessing and speculating, find out and we'll go from there. Minimal expense and maximum fun. Wood
 

pjkatich

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Bob,

Wood's advice is sound. As he stated, you will need to find out what cone (temperature) they do their final (glaze) firing. Once you have identified this, more specific information can be offered.

Good luck,
Paul
 

Bob

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Thank you Paul and Wood. As soon as school resumes I will get that info.

Happy New Year!

Bob.
 

Bob

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Ok, here is what I have so far. The teacher says she fires at cone 5 or 6. Is this sufficient for an outdoor pot?

Thanks.

Bob.
 

garywood

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Hi Bob, that temp will work fine but you have to get a claybody that matures at that range. Any clay supplier will, should, carry a good cone 6 body. They come in different textures and colors. I prefer a darker body with grog. The grog helps with shrinkage and cracking and the darker body allowes you earthy fired colors if you decide not to glaze. That will get you started since you have an idea of what you want and an article to follow,

Wood
 

pjkatich

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Bob,

Here's a link for a supplier that is close to you: http://www.standardceramic.com/

I started using their cone 10 clay bodies last year and have been very happy with the results.

Next thing to determine is the type of kiln used for the glaze firing. My guess would be that they are using an electric kiln which would mean an oxidation type environment. This information is good to know when you are looking at clay samples. Suppliers usually will provide samples of their clay bodies fired to maturity in both oxidation and reduction environments.

Regards,
Paul
 

Bob

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Thank you both very much for the great info! You've saved me a lot of money and time! Much appreciated! I'll take a ride up to Standard Ceramics this Friday.

Bob.
 
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