Last night I spent a significant amount of time writing this post, only to lose it all with a slip of the fingers. Here goes again…
I finally had a chance to sit down and make pots with one of the batches of clay that was mixed, de-aired and pugged using the Peter Pugger. This particular batch is a prime example of why I bought the PP in the first place: to mix clay bodies that would be otherwise near impossible to wedge by hand. The main ingredient in the clay body is the clay that came out of the hole that I excavated when building my wood kiln, a cone 5-6 clay that is quite short and sandy. The PP makes a 20kg batch, so I mixed 12kg of kiln hole clay with 7kg of crushed sandstone, and added water to taste.
Now, the great thing about this is that I didn’t have to prepare the clay for the mixer, just dumped in 12kg of dry chunks, dry sand, water, and flipped the switch. After letting it mix for about 25 minutes, I turned on the vacuum pump, and then pugged out some of the clay, fed it back in, mixed a few minutes more, then pugged out all of it. Even after de-airing, it tore pretty badly as it exited the nozzle, but it held together enough for some light wedging to make a hump for throwing.
It is almost unbelievable for me to get a workable clay body in such a short time. Without the machine it would have taken me hours and hours of work, crushing, slaking, drying, wedging, etc… The biggest difference is that this particular body would have been nigh impossible to wedge by hand, all the sand in the clay plus the added sandstone just makes it all crumble in your hands. I believe that the de-airing gives it just enough added ‘stick’ to make it workable.
Here is some of the work that came from the batch, mostly yunomi and teabowls:
Tsutsu chawan and guinomi
-Posted from iMike