A 3-minute Mug with Plainsman Polar Ice
A Broken Glaze Meets Insight-Live and a Magic Material
Accessing Recipes from "Mid-Fire Glazes" book in Insight-Live
Adjusting the Thixotropy of an Engobe for Pottery
Analysing a Crazing, Cutlery-marking Glaze Using Insight-Live
Compare the Chemistry of Recipes Using Insight-Live
Connecting an External Image to Insight-Live Pictures
Convert a Cone 10 Glaze to Cone 6 Using Desktop Insight
Creating Rules for Calcium Carbonate - Wollastonite Substitution
Desktop Insight - Difficult Formula to Batch Calcuations
Desktop Insight 1A - Compare Theoretical and Real-World Feldspars
Desktop Insight 1B - Turn a Feldspar Into a Glaze
Desktop Insight 1C - Substitute Wollastonite for Whiting in Glazes
Desktop Insight 2 - Creating a Matte Glaze
Desktop Insight 3 - Dealing With Crazing
Desktop Insight 4 - Add a Native Material to MDT, Build a Glaze
Desktop Insight 5A - Glaze Formula to Batch Calculations
Desktop Insight MDT: Adding a Material
Desktop Insight: Maintain an MDT as a CSV File in Excel
Digitalfire Desktop INSIGHT Overview Part 1
Digitalfire Desktop INSIGHT Overview Part 2
Enter a Recipe Into Insight-live
Entering Shrinkage/Porosity Data Into Insight-Live
How I Fixed a Settling Glaze Slurry Using Desktop Insight
How I Formulated a Cone 6 Silky Matte Glaze Using Insight-Live
How I Improved a Popular Cone 6 Clear Glaze Using Insight-Live
How to Add Materials to the Desktop Insight MDT
How to Apply a White Slip to Terra Cotta Ware
How to Paste a Recipe Into Insight-live
Importing Data into Insight-live
Importing Desktop Insight Recipes to Insight-live
Importing Generic CSV Recipe Data into Insight-Live
Insight-Live Meets a Silica Deprived Glaze Recipe
Insight-Live Quick Overview
Insight-live, a Cure For Long-time Gerstley Borate Sufferers!
Liner Glazing a Stoneware Mug
Make test bars to measure pottery clay physical properties
Making ceramic glaze flow test balls
Manually program your kiln or suffer glaze defects!
Materials and Calculations in Insight-live.com
Mica and Feldspar Mine of MGK Minerals
Predicting Glaze Durability by Chemistry in Insight-Live
Preparing Pictures for Insight-live
Replace Lithium Carbonate With Lithium Frit Using Insight-Live
Signing Up at Insight-live.com
Signing-In at Insight-live.com
Subsitute Gerstley Borate in Floating Blue Using Desktop Insight
Substituting Materials by Weight: Why it does not work!
Substituting Nepheline Syenite for Soda Feldspar
Thixotropy and How to Gel a Ceramic Glaze
Use Insight-live to substitute materials in a recipe
Using Recipe Libraries With Desktop Insight

A 3-minute Mug with Plainsman Polar Ice

Tony Hansen takes you through the steps from opening the box and wedging the clay to taking the fired mug from the kiln.

F. Miscellaneous

Click here to watch this at youtube.com or click here to go to our Youtube channel

This is an incredible cone 6 translucent porcelain made by Plainsman Clays.
Notice the first thing I do is scan the QR Code on the box to check the data sheet. This is important because this material is so much different to work with than other bodies. Of course you can just visit Plainsmanclays.com and find the Polar Ice page there also.
You will also notice that I have lots of difficulty softening up the rock-hard slug, that is how it comes. But it does soften right up, in fact it was too soft for me so I put it on my plaster bat for a while to stiffen it a little (with a body like this do not use it unless it is just the right stiffness for you, I do not like really soft clay).
It is incredibly sticky, sticky to wedge, sticky to move on the wheelhead if you need to get it on center, it water-sticks to the wheelhead so much you have to cut it off, it is very sticky to trim and it balls up under your fingers if you try to round edges after trimming (using your finger). But the throwing is fantastic, nothing else is like it. Its leather hard and dry strength are also really good and it dries very well. After that, firing and glazing is like any other porcelain. Of course, since it is so vitreous you do have to pay attention to the cross sectional strength of your ware so it does not warp in the kiln.


URLs http://www.plainsmanclays.com
Plainsman Clays
Glossary Porcelain
Standard porcelains used by potters and for the production of sanitary and table ware have surprisingly similar recipes. But their plasticities vary widely.

Now that is a translucent porcelain!

Polar Ice porcelain mug with a light inside to demonstrate its translucency

These are two cone 6 transparent glazed porcelain mugs with a light bulb inside. On the left is the porcelainous Plainsman M370 (Laguna B-Mix 6 would have similar opacity). Right is a zero-porosity New Zealand kaolin based porcelain called Polar Ice (from Plainsmanclays.com also)! The secret to making a plastic porcelain this white and translucent is not just the NZ kaolin, but the use of a very expensive plasticizer, VeeGum T, to enable maximizing the feldspar to get the fired maturity.

The fantastic throwing of Plainsman Polar Ice

This vase is 14 1/2 inches tall after drying yet was made from only about 5 1/2 lbs of clay. This is really plastic! The walls are only 3/16 thick on average (I did a little trimming on the bottom 3-4 inches). It wants to be thin and tall. It is easy to get it too thin at the bottom and too thick at the top!

Do not overfire translucent porcelain like Polar Ice

Overfired Polar Ice porcelain. This bowl fired with an oval-shaped rim and was sticking to the shelf.

Polar Ice makes great eyeballs

These are made by Leslie Hirsch

Made from Polar Ice by KyoungHwa Oh from Korea

Polar Ice at cone 6. Glaze is Plainsman M340 transparent with green stain added. These pieces were done by the visiting artist at the Medalta Artists in Residence program in 2014.

A good base glaze, a vitreous clay and a good fit. How good that is!

Left: Cone 10R buff stoneware with a silky transparent Ravenscrag glaze. Right: Cone 6 Polar Ice translucent porcelain with G2916F transparent glaze. What do these two have in common? Much effort was put into building these two base glazes (to which colors, variegators, opacifiers can be added) so that they fire to a durable, non-marking surface and have good working properties during production. They also fit, each of these mugs survives a boil:ice water thermal shock without crazing (BWIW test). And the clays? These are vitreous and strong. So these pieces will survive many years of use.

Is the clay too stiff to use? Maybe not.

Clays of very high plasticity often stiffen during storage in the bag. This is Plainsman Polar Ice, it contains 4% VeeGum. This slug is like a brick, yet it will loosen up completely. But it is far too stiff to attempt wedging. However simply throwing it on the floor a few times (turning it each time) will pre-soften it enough to be able to wedge. Then, before you know it, it is too soft and needs to be put on a plaster table to stiffen it before throwing.

By Tony Hansen

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