Sunday, January 8, 2012

Help with Raku

I've heard that clay bodies with a lot of iron are not suitable for raku and will even blow up. I've also read that for pit-firing, "get a clay suitable for raku firings. The best color results can be achieved with iron bearing, or red clays" which implies that red clays are suitable for raku.

Do you or anyone following the clay club blog have experience with raku firing of iron rich clay bodies?

I'd appreciate learning from anyone's success or mistakes.


David Freeman


Lori Buff said...

I've done Raku firing with Lizella clay (on Rick Berman's suggestion) with no problems. I've also used Highwater's Orangestone without issue. I don't have any experience with the pot blowing up due to high iron. I also don't know why it would be a problem in a pit fire but I have not tried any high iron clays in a pit.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Lori. Orangestone is one of the clays I'm trying.

Barry Bernstein said...

I don't know what Lizella clay is or Orangestone, so I can't speak to those clay bodies. Years ago, I tried some red art bodies(do they still mine that?) even some with a high percentage of grog and had horrible results. It might be good if you want your pots to break into a hundred pieces and you intend to glue them back together. I would not use bodies with high iron content.

I use a variation of Daniel Rhodes stoneware body, with 17% grog. I am also using Highwater's Raku body, which I like a lot. When I come through your area this spring on my annual trip, I plan on buying it again.

Anonymous said...

I have heard that Highwater raku clay is fine at cone 10. Has anyone had experience with this?
Thanks, Marianne

John Britt said...

The Raku clay does fire to cone 10 without melting like an earthen white does but it is very porous even at cone 10.

That is why it is great for kids sculpture because it won't melt if they get it mixed up and you don't care about porosity with sculpture.