05 April 2012

Fast Wheel, Firm Clay

I finished off this little sculpture today... video

...and I mowed the grass, slipped and decorated a dozen oval cream jugs and threw 45 small mugs. It was an excellent day. 
I sometimes think that the "slow wheel/ soft clay" movement is a bit too precious. I'd love to teach a workshop one day with today's blog title as the theme. I do like my clay to be somewhat firm but I have some extremely stiff clay from Highwater at the moment (I am NOT happy) and I've been waiting TOO long for the promised replacement. Thinking more and more about Laguna B-mix...

8 comments:

Michael Kline said...

I use several firmness's(?) of clay. I like really soft clay for plates, platters, and most pots under 4 lbs. Firm clay for vertical forms over 4 lbs. But it's got to be wedge-able.

Is that a Riverby crow? or maybe Riverby bald eagle?

Joe Troncale said...

Dan,
I feel your pain.
Nothing worse than clay that is not "right". It's like buttoning a vest starting with the wrong button.
Thanks for posting on my blog. It's an honor to have your time and critiques.
Good luck with the clay.
Joe

Ashley said...

Love the BMix, lets you go tall. However, if you are firing to cone 10 or higher, wide platters and bowls do tend to warp a little more than other clay bodies. Plus, it is soooo light, you don't need many muscles to pick up a 10 cup teapot (empty of course)

Dennis Allen said...

Soft clay, big torch!

cookingwithgas said...

oh, that ornery clay! When it's good it's very, very good- but when it's bad...
You are a working man- love those bottles!

Sara Laitala said...

"Fast Wheel, Firm Clay" sounds like a good title for the workshop you'll be doing for us next winter in Michigan! Hope you'll be able to work in some tea lore and bird sculptures, too...Sara

John Bauman said...

I push the limits with some shapes, so I tend toward the fast wheel, firm clay side of things for my jars and pitchers. Softer for plates that I'm basically smash'n'spreading.

Do LOTS of testing with B-Mix. I've lost THOUSANDS of dollars worth of pots using the stuff. It will NOT gas out and will blister certain glazes and you won't know which ones until you've tried 'em.

It also goes bad in a slurry. Stinks to high heaven.

Ron said...

Clay that is the wrong stiffness is the WORST! As much as the clay companies say they try to do it consistently I think it's still a bit of a crap shoot. Plus Highwater stopped putting ties on their bags. If that stuff sits on the shelf for months it's going to stiffen up.

I love my Bluebird 440. If the clay is too stiff I slice it up and put in a bucket of water for a few minutes and then pug it. When I was working w. stoneware if the clay was too soft I'd put hunks in a bucket of fireclay to coat the outside and then pug it. (Warren Mackenzie trick).

Good luck with getting it right. I love the Bird sculpture.