These lumps do not break down easily in a dry mixer, even when with other materials (like silica and feldspar). And they just bounce around on a vibrating screen. That means that without some sort of finishing device in the dry material feed stream is needed to break down these lumps before the pugmill.
This brushing engobe is thick and gooey (because it contains CMC gum), so it is practically impossible to sieve. Our regular propeller mixer is not able to break up the tiny agglomerates of New Zealand kaolin. But 30 seconds of blender mixing makes it as smooth as silk. To make this liter of brushing engobe we use 800g of powder and 10g of CMC gum in 800g of water. Because of the very high clay content this does not require Veegum to gel it. The CMC gum greatly improves the brushing properties. It also thins the slurry enough to enable its lower-than-normal water content, making it more suitable for painting onto leather-hard ware, minimizing the number of coats needed.
New Zealand Halloysite
The whitest burning kaolin we have ever seen. It is very sticky when wet, suspends glazes well & makes super white porcelain (with help from a white bentonite).
The fine mineral, oxide and clay particles used in ceramics often aglommerate during storage or even in the latter stages of production. These must be broken down later.