Did I Make Clay?

by Anonymous

Hello Steve;
I am new to making clay. I may have made a giant mistake. I had 2 gallons of muck from throwing the expensive bagged clay. I added 2# of EPK, then 30 # of Hawthorne.

I put it in a large muck bucket added water and stomped it with my feet until it was well mixed. It had a little too much water in it so I turned it out onto my wedging board and let it dry for a day. Then I wedged it until it was fit to use.

Is this "clay" going to do bad things in my kiln?
Should i destroy everything I have thrown with this mix? turn it back to muck then use a real recipe? Or should I use a saggar and fire a piece in it and see what happens?

I thought the Hawthorne was a mix (like a cake mix, just add water) But in further reading I see this is not the case. Too bad this stuff throws very well, drys nicely without cracks. I have made some nice things with it...

I was hoping to fire to cone 6.

What have I done?

How to undo it?

The last time I made clay the instructor added one bag of stuff I assumed was a mix we added water and stomped it like grapes in a large bathtub.

- Anonymous

From Steve:
Dear Anonymous,

Actually I love your story and the fact that you just went for it. You did indeed make clay. The question is, what will the properties of that clay be???

You are dead on in your instinct to test a few pieces in a saggar, especially if you've already made pieces and it throws so well. My wild guess is that you'll end up somewhere between a cone 6 and cone 10.

Start at cone 6 and go up from there. You can do a shrinkage test and an absorption test to get an idea of how vitrified it is after firing.

Best of luck, keep me updated,

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