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What type of clay is good for a beginner learning to use a potter's wheel? Answered

I am planning to purchase a few hundred pounds of clay for my wife, who bought a used potter's wheel a while back. Clay will be purchased from http://www.kentuckymudworks.com/clay.html. Suggestions are welcomed.



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Moose Gueydan
Moose Gueydan

11 years ago

most of the schools on the west coast use laguna "rods bod" or b-mix,
this is a middle of the road clay, sutiblew for small to medium sized pieces and is also plastic enough for hand building. and it's "mostly" non-staining.

dark and red clays tend to stain permantly cotton , casued by the high iron content.  for biggerned I would stay away from porcilins, only because they requitre a great amount of skill (and they are more expensive) to control on the wheel.

if you dont have acess to a laguna dealer, try to get a 50/50 off white clay. you may need to experiment with what you like, ultimatly is a matter of "taste" some lite clays with more grit (grog) and some like a more creamy clay (more Kaolin).

if you are planning to raku, you will need to use a raku clay and the same goes with cooking pots, you will need to use a "fireclay".

lighter clays work better with brighter coloured glazes, but darker clays cause a "deeper" look for cobalt and copper based glazes.

make sure that the cone you are going to glaze fire is lower or the same as the vitrification of your clay.  dont fire a cone 5 clay to cone 10, unless you like grinding shelves....

My personal favorite is laguna's AMADORE, with is a buff burning red/brown clay. it's less expensive  than a lot of the proceline clays and Ive built huge, (well, ok, 24 inch) pots with it.

if you are going to be working with kids, Rod's Bod (laguna)  is a very good choice.

any more questions? feel free to emaoil me at sgueydan@att.net or hit my facebook account, Moosestudiospottery