Clay Pottery Recipe


The history of working with clay dates back to the ancient civilizations, while the earliest firing of clay probably dates back to 6000 BC. Thanks to the fact that clay can be easily found along the banks of rivers and streams as well as in mines, this is a material that has proved its usefulness and versatility throughout time. However, it may be necessary to create a clay pottery recipe that differs for various applications. For example, the clay recipe for stoneware would not be suited for a clay sculpture or visa versa.

Clay for Low-Fire Sculpture

The overall amount of clay you wish to create is up to you. Once you decide the amount, add these ingredients in these percentages: 9 percent porcelain grog or No. 1 silica sand, and 45.5 percent each of talc and ball clay. The plasticity of the ball clay works well in this application since it makes the clay easy to shape yet strong when fired. The silica sand or grog helps keep the clay white after it's been fired.

Clay for Stoneware

When making 103 pounds of clay for stoneware, combine the following ingredients: 25 pounds of Missouri fire clay, 45 pounds of H C Spinks No. 5, 10 pounds of feldspar, 3 pounds of ione grog and 20 pounds of c-1 Marblemix. The stoneware clay is known for its plasticity, as well as the pleasing glassy surface it takes on after it's fired. The other ingredients add strength to the mix as well as color.

Clay Body for Red Brick

This recipe creates clay that's suitable for hand-building. For whatever amount you make, be sure it consists of 34.5 percent each of Cedar Heights Redart and Goldart, 7 percent each of fine and medium grog, 13.8 percent ball clay, 0.69 percent of red iron oxide, and 2.51 percent barnyard slip. The Redart and the red oxide lend the clay its color, while the stoneware clays (the Cedar Height Goldart and Redart) give the clay strength.

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Marjorie Gilbert is a freelance writer and published author.

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