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Why Lee Does Not Make Her Own Porcelain Clay

June 14, 2018


"Translucency in porcelain is the result of glass content and molar content of titanium. Kaolins are naturally low in iron and magnesium, but higher in titanium. Once you cross the 0.50% molar content of titanium, translucency begins to diminish. Once you cross 0.90% of Ti02, fired whiteness likewise begins to diminish. To achieve higher glass content, then at a minimum, the body requires an additional ten percent flux content. At cone temps below 7, frit can be substituted to increase glass content as well. When the cone drops down to the 04 range, as much as 1/3 of the recipe can be frit. Although still classified as porcelain if the primary clay is kaolin, in reality the recipe has crossed into the frit ware arena. If you want to understand plasticity: read "Cation Exchange" in the Jan. 2018 Ceramics Monthly. There are traditional and non-traditional ways of achieving plasticity." Tom (glazenerd) Anderson


I don’t seem to have the jam to retain much of the science/math etc. that is essential to formulate your own bodies & glazes or expand into more sophisticated techniques.  My brain seems to resist some forms of retention and asserts a preference to bottom-line the info.


Distilling the details takes the form of one or more of these:





eat it, it’s good for you; don’t eat it, it’s poison

not to worry

save it for reference

and so forth.


With ceramics I stick with simple commercial bodies and glaze formulations from suppliers trusted by experts known to me, and simple firings. I never claim or guarantee that anything I make is “food safe”.  I know that is not necessary with the clay/glazes I use, which are well formulated to be food safe (exceptions are clearly labeled, such as metallic and crystalline glazes), but, again, it’s a matter of keeping (my) life simple.


What's happening...


I’m sticking my neck out here (counting chicks before they’ve hatched) and declaring that I am making a child’s toy (will do several and then choose) for presentation in a show in August (Antique Toy Paintings by Bill Turner and “Play with Clay” by the NH Potters Guild), at The Gallery at Well Sweep, in NH’s historic Hillsborough Center. There’s a contest attached, for creativity, which makes for quite a challenge.

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