When I first started doing ceramics, I was happy to experiment with different types of clays. From earthenware to stoneware to porcelain, pretty much whatever I could get and what suited the situation.
The problem with using a variety of clays meant that everytime I wanted to work using a different clay, I have had to thoroughly clean all of my equipment and tools to avoid cross contamination. For example, if I had been working with terracotta clay (red coloured), I wouldn't want it to get onto my pristine white porcelain. And also, if I had been working with earthenware clay, I wouldn't want it to get into my stoneware clay because they fire at different temperatures. (I learned this the hard way at uni when an someone's earthenware piece got mixed in with the stoneware firing and melted all over my work!)
Now that I have my own home studio with my own kiln, to optimise my work production, I have decided to change into a mid-firing porcelain clay called Cool Ice. Cool Ice is manufactured by Clayworks Australia. I have previously used Clayworks' Southern Ice porcelain clay (e.g. for the angel wings), so I felt quite comfortable and confident to change to Cool Ice.
I don't know if you see the difference, but the one on the left is Southern Ice and the one on the right is Cool Ice. The Southern Ice is a little more white than Cool Ice.
I've been quite happy with the results of the test pieces but now that I'm ready to experiment more, I've realised that there aren't that many off the shelf mid-firing glazes available in Australia.
Irine is a recipient of the Australia Council for the Arts' Artstart Grant (June 2014-2015).
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