Monday, September 6, 2010

Woodfiring clay body?

Howdy everyone!

I was just wondering if anyone would be able to give me a lead on finding some good woodfiring clay body recipes to test. I have looked in quite a few books, but haven't found one that I really like yet. I haven't ventured in to making my own clay before and I was just hoping for a starting point. Anyone have any that they like? In general, I am looking for a brown stoneware body with a sandy quality to it. Any thoughts?



John Britt said...


I will post a couple in a day or so.

Lindsay Rogers said...

thanks john!

Anonymous said...

Have you checked Dick Lehman's site? His article on woodfiring has several clay bodies.

potterboy said...

A simple starting point I've used is a mix of 70% ball clay, 15% china clay and 15% feldspar. Being in the UK I use hyplas, grolleg and a soda feldspar. In a 30 hour firing I get a nice brown with some pink touches, ok flashing and it fluxes nicely. If your firings were shorter, you could use nepheline instead.

You can then play around with the different types of clay, differing the proportions and so on. Make small batches and fire in different parts of the kiln and see what they do.

Ben Brierley has a number of recipes here, too, which sound a bit like what you want, but you'd have to find equivalent US ingredients:

Basically just mix and see - it's a lot of fun.

Funnily enough, my shino glaze is just the same as my clay body, but with different proportions. You could go down that route - find a recipe you like and adjust the mix for throwability and see what happens.

I know none of this is very scientific but I'm more of a try it and see man, I'm afraid.

Good luck.

James Tingey said...

I use a body consisting of
25 helmar
25 hawthorn
15 tennessee 10
10 xx saggar
10 N-4 soda spar
5 neph sy
10 flint
+ silica sand to taste (~5-10lbs)
+ redart to taste (i've used upto 25lbs, usually only 5lbs now)

John Britt said...

WOW, What a great group!!!Thanks!

Lindsay Rogers said...

I second that comment john! thanks so much everyone!

Chris Hosbach said...

in the 2005 june/july/august issue of ceramics monthly there were 3 or 4 pages of recipes for clay bodies, slips, and glazes to be used in wood firing. here are a few that i seem to remember...

White Flashing Stoneware (^6-14)

Neph Sye------------------25
Ceadar Heights Stoneware-----10
Coarse Fireclay--------------15
XX Saggar-----------------20

Helmer Porcelain (^8-14)

G-200 Feldspar-------------25
Helmer Kaolin--------------50
XX Saggar-----------------10

Flash 'N' Glass Porcelain (^6-14) (Self -Glazing)

Custer Feldspar-------------10
Neph Sye------------------15
XX Saggar-----------------25

June Perry said...

This one sounds like it might fit your needs. I have several more wood fire clay body recipes, if you need more.
Warren Mackenzie Stoneware Body - cone 8-11 - a sandy stoneware body good
for throwing, nice in wood and salt.

37.50 Hawthorn Bond fire clay
37.50 Goldart
18.75 OM-4 ball clay
18.75 Fine silica sand
9.00 Custer or G-200 feldspar
.75 Yellow ochre (optional - for color)

122.25 Total

Lindsay Rogers said...

Thanks again everyone! This gave me a great starting point. I ended up with a really diverse group of recipes and am excited to learn more about how these ingredients react in the firing.

John Britt said...

Sorry I was no help. I am getting ready for Denmark and swamped.

Lindsay Rogers said...

Our conversation was a great help john! It gave me some ideas about individual ingredients... and the tip on how to actually mix up the tests was very helpful. I really appreciated it... and i ended up with a bunch of recipes to test from here and from a few new book suggestions. :)