Yesterday, with a certain amount of trepidation, I tried throwing with porcelain. I’ve read a lot about it being tricky to use, and it is. I don’t throw with a lot of water, but a number of times the pot I was throwing collapsed, because the walls had become too soft and I’d gone to thin for this particular clay. I’m going to persevere though as I’m sure I’ll get used to its idiosyncrasies. What I did love today was turning the surviving pots, burnishing them, and adding handles. In it’s leather hard state porcelain is amazing. It’s so fine and you can get it incredibly smooth. We’ll just have to see what happens when they’re fired.
I’ve been trying the porcelain because I want to find the right clays to commit to. Living where we do delivery costs are expensive so it makes sense to order large quantities. For the domestic ware I want something that fires white or very nearly white. I had high hopes of the extra white stoneware I’ve been using to date, but it’s been firing to a creamer colour than I had anticipated. Plus I’m having problems with speckles, probably caused by an increased level of iron in this particular batch. I’ve tried a porcelain/stoneware mix before, with good results, but it costs more than the stoneware. The porcelain does too, but with that comes increased strength and the possibility of translucency too. Hmmm.
I’d also hoped to use the same clay for both my domestic ware and raku pieces, but again what I’d originally been using doesn’t seem to be cutting the mustard, even though it worked fine when I used it at Grays. I’m going to trial some alternatives here too.
I’ll let you know how I get along, and post results when I can.