New and re-designed clay bodies, new boxes and other important info
Low Fire clay discontinued and reformulated bodies:
• Earthenware White will be available only while supplies last (est. Fall 2022) We are close to producing test batches of our replacement low fire white clay, which will be called Chalk Rock. Terra Blanc is also a viable substitute in many applications
• Earthenware White Plus will be available only while supplies last (Fall 2022). We have designed a new low fire white sculpture body called Birch Bark, which should be available late summer, samples available mid-summer.
• Raku will be available only while supplies last. Customers using this body as a low fire sculpture clay should switch to Birch Bark. Customers using this body for Raku or other applications with high thermal shock concerns should use Unshockable, which contains grog as well as kyanite and is the Raku body used by Eric Stearns.
• No Red Clays have been reformulated, discontinued or added to the low-fire line up at this time.
Mid and High Fire clay discontinued and reformulated bodies:
- 5/6 Buff and Cone 10 White Stoneware are officially being merged into Buff /White Stoneware with a listed firing range of 5-10. These bodies have shared the same recipe for many years. Our new packaging reveals this
- 5/6 Porcelain will be available while supplies last (Fall 2022). It will be replaced with Winter Wind, samples available mid-summer
- 5/6 Black will be available while supplies last and thereafter as a special order. All materials are still available, but we have reformulated it to have a richer color and that will join our lineup under the name Bison
- Pyrate Freckle is a new clay to our line up, a smooth white body with iron specks, available mid-summer
- Royal Icing is a high quality, very plastic English Porcelain
Clay body changes were, in most cases, necessitated by the closing of the Texas Talc Mine to distribution. For the last year, we have been testing a variety of alternatives with attention to cost, color and glaze fit. We are close enough to production now, that we ordered new boxes with the new clay bodies listed. We wanted to inform Kansas Clay distributors as well as some key clay customers before these boxes hit our production line and begin to enter the market. Please let us know if you have any questions. When pricing and samples are available, we will let you know.
We would also like to share some recent concerns that have been shared with us from across several different clay bodies. An unusual number of defects have been detected and reported. Our research into these issues have led to a common ingredient which we believe to be the culprit – 35 mesh hawthorn. This inexpensive ingredient has a reputation for being inconsistent from the mine, but the occasional issues have never risen to the level of outweighing it’s low cost. We are currently looking into the feasibility of switching from 35 mesh Hawthorn to 50 mesh Hawthorn in hopes of providing a more reliable product. However, we also continue to be mindful of rising costs of materials, labor and transportation. The affected clay bodies are commonly used in schools. Many teachers are being faced with shrinking budgets. We are considering options ranging from offering our Buff / White Stoneware as both an economy and premium version to keeping buff/white stoneware as a body containing 35 mesh hawthorn and formulating a wholly different smooth white stoneware for potters seeking a higher quality product. We are only in the early stages of this investigation and likely won’t move forward with too much speed until all of our current reformulation projects are finished. Input and ideas are welcome.