Buying or making the right pottery clay is one of the keys to success in your studio. There are many variables that determine the right clay body for your needs including color, temperature range, the type of pottery you make, and what kind of forming methods you use, just to name a few. Whether you end up using earthenware, stoneware, or porcelain (or perhaps all of these) depends on you understanding the properties, benefits, and drawbacks of each type of clay. Most of the value in a piece of pottery is in the time and effort you invest, and the clay is one of the least expensive elements, but that does not mean it is the least important - quite the opposite. Becoming familiar with the types of clay bodies available will allow you to make smart design decisions and can open up new areas of creative exploration.
Download your free copy of Successful Tips for Buying and Using Pottery Clay: How to Select, Process, and Test Clay Bodies for Better Results to see the articles below...
Testing Clay Bodies
by Paul Andrew Wandless
Pottery clay bodies have the potential to be really versatile. The more we know about a clay body, the more we can understand its limits; how high will it fire, how low it can go, what happens to the color, etc. You may just find that you have a whole lot of choices with your particular clay body that you just didn't know about.
Selecting a Pottery Clay Body
by Bill Jones
Most potters use commercially-prepared clays, and ceramic suppliers and clay manufacturers want to make sure you're getting the clay you need. Here's a checklist for selecting the right pottery clay for you whether it's earthenware, stoneware or porcelain.
by Antoinette Badenhorst
The lure of porcelain can be so irresistible! Working with a pottery clay that's smooth, white, and translucent certainly has its appeal, but at what cost? Working with porcelain takes a bit of a change in how you work, what you make, and what your skill level is. Check out what it may take for you to switch -- porcelain may be just the thing!
Recycling Pottery Clay in Your Studio
by Jonathan Kaplan
We all make clay scraps when making pottery, and because this happens at various stages in the making cycle, we need a way to bring all of that clay to an even level of moisture and consistency so it can be used again. Here is a simple way to recycle your pottery clay without a lot of equipment or hassle.
How to Wedge Pottery Clay
by Michael Wendt
No potter really likes to wedge, but it's a necessary step in getting clay uniform for throwing or handbuilding. While spiral wedging is widely practiced, over time it's hard on the hands and wrists. With this stack and slam method of wedging, you can blend colors, textures, and moisture levels into a smooth blend in just minutes without pain.
Tips for Preventing Freeze Thaw
by David Scott Smith
Unless you know that your clay body is formulated in a way in which it can survive freeze/thaw conditions, you might want to bring pieces stored outside in during winter. If you are not sure if your clay body is up to the test, David Scott Smith’s article will help you figure that out. Smith explains what makes or breaks (literally) a clay body in cold winter months.
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Jennifer Poellot Harnetty
Editor, Ceramic Arts Daily
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