Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Adventures in White Stoneware

I know a while back I promised to share some of my white stoneware work with you and today I finally have some pieces (espresso cups thrown off the hump) that work and that I have pictures of. I forgot how different this white clay behaves. My first batch I applied the glaze the same as I have been doing for the red clay and it ran all over! Low fire stays put but mid range runs when it's thick....duh! So I thinned out my glaze, added a pretty Celadon interior and got printing. I'm so excited that this is finally working out. I really love the throwing body (I use a white stoneware similar to a porcelain) and the way the final pot feels in your hand. It's such a pleasure to work with. There are still some kinks to work out but I'm having fun playing with the surfaces and experimenting with different slips and underglazes. Now I just need to see if my hand building techniques will still work on the white clay without major warping and cracking. What do you think? Any suggestions for hand buliding with a porcelain like body?


Judy Shreve said...

Hi Shawna -- love the berry bowls. I worked with b-mix for awhile and used Lana Wilson's Magic Water & paper clay recipes to help alleviate cracks.

Magic Water: 1 gallon water, 3 tablespoons liquid sodium silicate, 1 and 1/2 teaspoons soda ash. Liquid sodium silicate is also call egg keep and is sometimes available at drugstores.

Paper Clay: Use for cracks or holes on greenware or bisque and you can also use paper clay as slip when attaching leather-hard pieces.

Use about 1/4 to 1/3 volume of paper linter or toilet paper to 2/3 to 3/4 bone dry clay by
volume. Soak the paper and clay overnight in magic water (or plain water). The water should be about one inch above clay and paper. Mix with a handheld mixer (e.g. Braun) is the easiest but a blender also works. Pour off extra water. If paper clay mix starts to stink add a pinch of Oxyclean.

Mix two jars of paper clay - one slip consistency for attaching leatherhard pieces and the other jar a stiffer clay consistency, which can be used to stuff in cracks.
If you want to do it by volume -- 100 grams of mixed liquid glaze equals about 1/2 cup.

Now I have a question. When you do the (mono) printing on your work -- do you do it at leatherhard? And if so how do you manage that with lots of pieces?

pinkkiss said...

Awesome! Thanks Judy, I will be mixing up some of that this week:)

I monoprint on wet(but not shiny, normally I hand build with the slabs) clay, it's best on slabs but you can do it on thrown work as well. I stamp and screenprint on dry clay or bisque ware since it can absorb the under glaze better.
If you need to keep several pieces damp to print on try making a damp box. Take a tupperware bin with a lid and pour about 1/2 inch of pottery plaster (mixed) into the bottom. Let the plaster fully cure. When you need to store pieces pour enough water over the plaster to fully soak it but not create puddles. Put your pieces in and close the lid. No need for plastic, your pots will stay for months!
Hope that helps:)

Judy Shreve said...

Shawna - thanks. I'll make a damp box. That's a great idea.