Tuesday, April 21, 2009

It's a clay issue...

So I've been having a bit of a clay issue these days. Basically, my clay distributor went out of business and I can no longer get the clay I have been using for the past 5 years unless I want to drive across the boarder down to Seattle and pick it up myself. I don't feel that's the best use of my time these days, so instead I am clay shopping but am starting to think that it's a big waste of my time and money... am I right?
I have been working in clay for 16 years now and know that the minute you change the clay body even slightly -not to speak of temperature, just clay body and brand, EVERYTHING changes.
Here's for the techy types- hang in there if you don't mind a little shop talk...
I went from using 'Georgies Pink Salmon Cone 4-7' to try #1- 'Laguna B-Mix Cone 5-6'- pretty standard well-used white (although now that I've fired it I'd say yellow) clay body that I used before the Georgies. Well, it seem that B-mix doesn't like being fired to Cone 6 as one of my large bowls in the middle of the kiln bubbled and the clay turned very yellow making my lovely pale blue glaze more on the green side than the blue. Hmmm. Not going to work for me. So I am onto a more local Canadian clay- Plainsman but Porcelain (P300). I generally steer clear of a pure porcelain because it's like throwing with cream cheese and I end up throwing it too thick and having to trim too much off. Anyways, I had to make a trip out to the only other clay supplier in the Greater Vancouver area today and committed to 6 boxes of the stuff so I'll be darned if it doesn't work for me. In the meantime it has got me thinking... what would happen if more of these companies and suppliers go under considering the current economy?

4 comments:

ColleenBaran said...

I was just thinking about this myself.

I've only found one company in the US that sells jewellery boxes small enough to be used with the more economical Canadian shipping methods.

I find myself wanting to stock up and buy a ridiculous number of them on the off chance they go under or discontinue them.

Not to mention my polishing wheels, etc...

Eva said...

i have no idea what you are talking about with all that technical stuff...but i'm sorry you're having to go through this headache. best of luck with your new clay!

Jill Ward said...

i've used the palinsman p300 and i really loved it.

i'm somewhat of a novice thrower (5 years, sporadically (between 3 babies, diaper changes and snacks) and really found that a little vinegar in the throwing water works very well with it--a little tip from a 90 year old member of my guild. i can throw pretty thin with it too.

i never could understand the bmix train that everyone was on. saying that bmix is white is like saying my laundry is white. hee.

i tried some of the sps mac 6, and while it says it's porcelaineous stoneware, it truly throws like cream cheese and gets super slippy. goop everywhere.

hope you find it works for you.

dahlhaus said...

Thanks for the comments re: my clay issue and for hangin' in there with me on the techy stuff- The P300 is so far going much better than the B-mix did. I'm still keeping my fingers crossed... The true test will be the teapots and Oval flower vases...