Thursday, February 27, 2014

Enlightenment or....


I was drinking tea out of one of my prototype mugs this morning and again started wondering why the mug does so poorly in the microwave.  Nothing has cracked, but the clay and handle get too hot to be held without a pot holder.  This is not a good sign!

Then I began thinking about the problems I have been having with platters cracking.

The top photo is of a platter I did about twenty years ago.  It's still in great shape.  I use it as a bird bath every summer

The second photo is of a platter I did about a year and a half ago.  It stress cracked about a week after I took it out of the kiln.  At first I blamed the rim, which is hollow.  But looking at other platters with simple rims I realized they were cracking too.

Enlightenment!  I had to switch clay bodies about two years ago!  I always used Miller #25 which was a terra cotta with frit in it.  I am sure that is what made to body so tough both when throwing and when finished!  It goes into the microwave and oven without feeling like it's going to blow up.  I have been using Miller #20 which is okay but does not withstand the abuse I could and did give #25. 

 The #20 I can use for non-functional work, so there will be no loss.  There is, however, a large nuisance factor.

The question is now, what to do?  If I had a pug mill, clay mixer I would start mixing my own body.  I don't, so my other option would be to special order it.  I'm not sure where I would store that much clay. Golly, gee whiz....I might have to clean out my storage area!

It's sunny, but cold.  Joy!  We may be getting more snow later in the week.  Meanwhile, my dvd of Game of Thrones is waiting for pick up at the Post Office.....time to lest my essential nerdiness out!

Enjoy the day.  As always, thanks for stopping by.....*s*


  1. the first plate looks like Cinderella and her friends in the forest, I've only seen things crack later with one piece,

    1. Hi Linda....I never had any cracking until I started making flat, large pieces with this clay bodies. That's one reason it was such a surprise!

  2. Sounds like a bit f cleaning in the storage area is in order .
    Game of Thrones ~ hail to the nerds :))

    1. Hi Willow....Ah yes, cleaning. I'm waiting until warm weather so I can get stuff outside and really make decisions.

  3. I guess I missed why you had to switch. Do they not make the #25 anymore? Does your clay store just not carry it. I'd talk to your distributor and see if they can help by either recommending something else or restocking #25.

    1. Hi Lori....Miller stopped making #25, but they will make a special order batch. I'm going to be communicating with them for possible substitutes.

  4. Dearest Suzi,
    Wow, knowing why you had those cracks and than for solving it is not easy when you need to stock up like getting ready to export to China...
    Love your plates!
    We had frost last night and again tonight.

    1. Hi Mariette...Thanks! I don't do exports, so at least that is not a concern.


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