Xantham Gum is a versatile polysaccharide thickener and suspension agent produced by the fermentation and extraction of the naturally occurring plant bacteria Xanthomonas campestris.
Used as a hardener in glazes and clay bodies. It is biosynthesized from a bacteria (after which it is named).
This is a widely used product, other grades are available for pharmaceutical and personal care products, for example.
Since this is organic, a preservative or biocide addition is often needed if the product will be stored for some time.
These two 4mm thick pieces of clay have had 1% of an xantham gum added. The gum was just shaken together with the powder and then 21% water was added and it was stirred in a cup and then wedged to pugged consistency. The piece on the left was under water for 1 hour! Without the gum it would have disintegrated within a couple of minutes.
This slug is about 6 months old. It contains 0.75% gum. The gum also destroys the workability of the clay.
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