Today I received my shipment of Black Ice Porcelain, which is a black porcelain that is colored using oxides and stains. It is a beautiful black graphite color when fired. I have always wanted to use a black clay, but all of the black clay bodies I have tried have always either had bloating issues, or contained manganese. Neither of those things is something I look forward to when working with a clay body.
When I saw this at my local supplier I decided I had to give it a shot. I love working with porcelain it is so different from stoneware.
The first thing I noticed about the clay is that I was man handling it. I am used to Highwater’s clay, which to be honest, is way to dry in the bag. I think they have changed bags or something. When I first worked with Highwater it was nice and soft, now it is almost to the point where I need to add water to the clay a few days before I throw it.
This clay was super soft, so soft that the first 3 pots I threw collapsed on the wheel. When I throw highwater I can basically undercut my yunomi horizontally and they dont collapse. This isn’t the case with this clay. I have to leave a counter-lever in place to hold up the walls. I will trim them out later and see if it collapses when fired!
After 3 fails I finally got the hang of how easy it was to throw. Everything required a gentle touch to move the clay or to finishing parts as opposed to my manhandling it like other clays I have had to use.
Here are 4 yunomi I kept:
I am back throwing again and I just trimmed this yunomi and put the final decorations on it. I have to say I love making yunomi. The simple decorations and the form and usefulness of the shape is just so much fun. I love making the foot of the pot organic looking instead of a perfect circle. The cup itself still preforms perfectly fine, but it just complete the aesthetic. I really dislike looking at a funky pot, then seeing a perfectly trimmed foot. It really takes away from the experience in your hand.
This is the first plate in the three plate test. Just an update. I bought three hydrobats on the recommendation of a fellow forum poster. So far I am impressed. I just removed this plate:
It is beautifully flat and dried super even. More plates to come once they come loose.
Tomorrow I will officially begin my journey back into pottery. I will be doing something I haven’t done much of! Designing a dinnerware set for my home. My lovely wife has been asking for some dinnerware for years and I am finally going to man up and make some plates that I will be eating off of for years to come! It is a scary thought to think your going to make work that you will be looking at every single time you eat food! I throw away and trash about 95% of my work because most of it could be improved.
I am not sure I am going to be able to stare at the same plates every day unless I am very happy with them! So expect some pictures of the progression!
Thanks for sticking with me everyone and I appreciate all the comments I have gotten in the past. Feel free to ask anything and I will try to reply!