Clay review

I may have mentioned in a previous post that I didn’t want to use a lot of my regular clay in the first firing, because it would be such a waste, so I got some store bought clay from a place I never tried before. Most of their clays are not much to my liking, but they have this one type, called Karatsu Kishidake, which has turned out to be nice stuff. Of course final judgement will have to wait until the kiln is unloaded, but for ease of throwing and trimming, with the potential for nice chirimen (crepe-like tearing) on the trimmed surfaces, it shows great potential, AND it’s cheap. Here are some pics of the Karatsu Kishidake which was used for some yunomi. (in an aside, I had a wonderful breakthrough making these yunomi. These plain tsutsu yunomi (cylinder shape) have always given me fits for some reason, but I finally figured out the right way of holding the cows tongue rib to make them quickly and best of all, non-wonky.)

2 styles of feet: My preference is the second one below, but that style of foot doesn’t look so good on a plain cylinder shape. Looks much better on an hourglass shape, wide at the hips and shoulders narrowing towards the waist.

Here are a few guinomi that are going in the first firing. Minamihata clay which is somewhat sticky, mixed with 30% pounded sandstone, and 10% Shirakawa Toseki porcelain stone sand from above Arita dam (sieved out of the river). Pinched and trimmed on the kickwheel.

6 thoughts on “Clay review”

  1. How do you achieve the chirimen on the trimmed surfaces. Does the clay have to have a high content of sand?

  2. Mike, NICE trimming and feet. I prefer the first one.
    I love that you can also see the string's trace so clearly on the feet. My clays are too lame for such refined details. But someday..

  3. Hi Chris,
    Yes, very fine sand helps, and you need a fairly short clay body to begin with. Also, trimming fairly soft with dull tools.

    Hi Carmen,
    Thanks. For the cylindrical cups I prefer the first one as well. What kind of cut string do you use? Something braided or twisted will give you better patterns than a monofilament line. The trick for me is getting the right amount of extra on the bottom so that no extra height trimming is necessary, because it destroys the string pattern. This time I was a tad on the 'not enough' side, hence the fairly low footrings.

  4. Mmmmmmm..(add in other non-verbal sounds of unrestrained delight). The guinomi, have all the marks just right!
    Like deer tracks on freshly fallen snow, deafeningly quiet. Complete!!

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