Wednesday, December 9, 2015


I am not a huge fan of making clay these days, even in small batches. Back at Cleveland State, Kent State and a few other place I have worked, I made huge amounts of clay, from dry to wet, from start to finish and by lots I mean tons and tons of clay for myself and various classes as the studio tech. I paid my dues and now have clay made for me or I buy commercially available clay for most of what I use. Like everything else though on occasion I get this bug to make up a clay body that I used to mix with my stoneware clay that I also made myself and we are off to the races. I tend to work in small batches, about 25 pounds dry for each and mix them up to a slurry consistency and then dry each of them separately on plaster until they firm up and wedge them together until they are completely homogeneous. Now after way too much work, they are ready to use.
I'll start by saying this picture is not of clay ready for neriage, this is the first wedge and cut of the mixed stoneware and iron rich clay that I made to be mixed. I wedge the clay 50 times or so and then cut it in half, reverse the surfaces and then do the same at least two more and usually three more times to get an absolutely thorough mixing of the two clays. I realize this may seem to be more work than it is worth but it creates a very different surface with the various Oribe and iron yellow glazes and throws like a dream. One of these days I need to get someone else to make a ton or so of this clay for me then I can just open the box and bag and throw.