B-Mix 5 This high-fire stoneware is smooth and shows bright colored glazes. I throw pots with this clay and I make a lot of pieces from slabs. One of my favorite styles is to decorate a slab of clay with many textures and imprints. I’ll then form it into a mug or vase using a wood mold. I also use plaster molds to form dishes. After the first (bisque) firing I brush each section with a different bright colored glaze. (M&M page shows lots of pieces using this technique.)
Sheffield Gray Stoneware Early on when I threw bowls with the fine white clay sometimes they collapsed – right when I had the perfect shape! I needed a grittier clay that I could play around with on the wheel a little longer.
That led me to my gray clay. I live in PA and drive to MA to buy this Sheffield clay. (Or my good friend Sue, who lives near Sheffield, picks it up and brings it to me. Thanks Sue!) It is gritty and sturdy for throwing. The pots are very different from the ones made with the white clay. The colors are dark and I love the drippy colors I get when I mix several glazes together on this clay. I use it to make some of my most popular mugs and wallpockets. I love the results but it can be a challenge to keep those great drips on the pot and off the kiln shelf.
Brown 112 Clay number 3! I wanted a clay that is between the bright white and the dark gray. This clay starts out brown, after the first firing it is pinkish, and in the end it is buff with dark specks that show through the glaze. The glazes have an earthier tone on this clay. Over the years I have found very pretty glaze combinations that I use on microwave cake bakers, yarn bowls, mugs and wall pockets.
So … one potter … three favorite clays … 39 favorite glazes!