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Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Clay challenge pt.2

Deborah Woods had a good idea regarding my recent clay challenges, thinking it could be the clay hadn't aged sufficiently yet.
I hadn't considered the aging factor. But now that I think of it, it could be contributing to the problem. The clay I got was 'fresh off the truck', so it hasn't really aged. However, so is the white stoneware I've been using, as well as all the other clay available at the center, so there's some sort of baseline usability there that the buff clay doesn't seem to have.

The instructor that used that clay also had multiple bags in various states of age, with trimmings and reclaim constantly being wedged in, so that probably improved things a lot. And as I mentioned, he throws very dry. The first thing I think I'm going to try is cutting way back on the water.

For me, an idea clay would be serviceable 'off the truck' and any improvement with age would be a bonus... That probably isn't very realistic, and it make sense to age your clay, I'm just not in a situation where I can age clay right now.

3 comments:

gary rith said...

I know what you mean--I hate fresh out of the pugmill clay, but you have a point--old scraps and trimmings help! AND wedging the ball hundreds of times....

Eric said...

I've heard of informal research showing that more wedging is quite equal to aging clay, but I'm only a few years into the game and don't have much of my own experience to factor in.

Brian said...

True, more wedging will improve clay. What you're after is getting all the clay particles evenly moist. And while aging can accomplish much the same thing over time, it also is a matter of microbial growth in the clay affecting it's consistancy and workability.