Digitalfire Ceramic Materials Database
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Alternate Names: Red Art
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|WABS - Water absorption||Cone 04: 11% Cone 2: 1%|
|FSHR - Firing Shrinkage||Cone 04: 3% Cone 2: 8%|
|DSHR - Drying Shrinkage||5.5%|
Jan 2012: We are got reports of Redart properties possibly showing some variation, we arranged testing and on separate shipments arriving at different places and spanning a year. The results for drying shrinkage, water of plasticity, drying performance and fired shrinkage were very similar for all.
Redart is a red firing earthenware of moderate plasticity and low shrinkage. It fires light orange to dark red depending on firing temperature from cone 06 to 3. It fires much stronger and denser at cone 04 than 06 and achieves its best color/strength compromise at cone 02 and gives deep red color and stoneware properties at cone 1. It is airfloated to 200 mesh and is very clean and has a long firing range. This is a very popular ingredient in clay bodies made across North America and it has been available for many years.
This material is quite high in iron thus the powder is a deep red color and quite messy to work with. Redart is also used by potters in glaze recipes, sometimes up to 60%.
Redart can be used as a primary component in plastic modeling and throwing bodies, however some plastic additions of ball clay will be necessary. It can be used as a casting body without any additions, although it is desirable to diversify recipes to achieve better consistency and less dependence on the quality of one material alone.
While redart can be used as a source of iron in high temperature bodies, it will produce brown rather than red coloration. This is because the fluxes are intimately mixed with the iron and fuse it to a darker color. To get red in oxidation or reduction at higher temperatures you must use refractory clays with iron or iron bearing fireclays. However there is good reason not to use low fire reds as fluxes in high fire bodies: The fluxes in the red clays don't dissolve cristobalite like feldspar does, the result can be thermal expansion related ware failure.
This material is mined from a large deposit and the company is confident in its consistency and long term availability.
Sample body recipes for low fire terra cotta:
Redart Casting mix #1062
25 Nepheline Syenite
15 Large Particle size kaolin
0.15 Soda Ash
0.65 N Brand Sodium Silicate
For redder color you can replace the kaolin with more Redart but dry strength will be lower. You can even use straight redart for casting.
Redart very plastic throwing body #3322A
40 Banta Red Clay
10 Ball clay
This body has remarkably good plasticity yet its drying performance is also very good. It is melting by cone 4 and is quite vitreous by cone 02. Talc in low fire bodies can really improve drying while not reducing plasticity as much as other fillers, talc also increases the thermal expansion for better fit to commercial glazes.
Body Maturity - Low Fire Red Clay
Red terra cotta clays are typically 6-8 cones more vitreous than is possible with feldspar-white clay mixes. Thus where a red clay can be tolerated, materials like this can be employed to create cone 02-2 stoneware.
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Test bars of Red art clay (left) fired from cone 06 (top) to 5 (bottom). On the right is Plainsman Blue Grey Plastic fired across a similar temperature range.
Plainsman M2 (left) vs. Redart (right). These bars are fired cone 04, 02, 2, 3, 4 (top to bottom). Fired color is almost identical. M2 has a little more soluble salts and is more plastic (although still not as plastic as a typical pottery clay). Redart will make a good casting slip which M2 does not deflocculate well.
Lizella clay (right) vs. Redart (left) at cones 4, 2, 02, 04 (top to bottom). The redart is much more vitreous and reaches almost zero porosity by cone 4 whereas the Lizella goes only down to 11%.
A sculpture clay containing 40% ball clay, 10% kaolin, 10% low fire redart (for color and maturity), some quartz and 25% 20x48 grog. This fine grained base produces a body that feels smoother than it really is and is very plastic.
Stoneware at cone 02? Yes. These test bars are fired to cone 02. The top body is 50:50 Redart and a silty raw material from Plainsman Clays (named 3D) plus some bentonite and 1% iron. The bottom one also has 5% Ferro Frit 3110. The porosity: The bottom one is 3%, the top one 8%. So each 1% frit reduces the porosity by 1% in this case.
This is a grog clay with 25% Christy Minerals STKO22S grog (20 mesh one size). This piece is about 8 inches tall fired at cone 10R. This body is a Redart, Ball clay base that totally vitrifies to a chocolate brown. But with the added refractory grog it is fairly stable in the kiln and is much more vitreous than other grog bodies. Because it is such a plastic smooth base and because the grog is only one size, this is actually throwable for a piece or two. And it is very resistant to splitting during hand building.
By Tony Hansen
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