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Why Are There So Many Different Clays from Laguna Clay Company?


Laguna Clay Company was founded in 1976. Currently Laguna Clay Company offers over 200 clay bodies, not including slips and custom formulations. Why? How did they create all these formulas in such a short time? What are the uses for these different clay bodies? This article will answer all those questions about Laguna Clay Company potters clay, ceramic clay, sculpture clay, casting slips, porcelain casting slip, clay for slab construction, clay for press molding, clay for hydraulic pressing, refractory clay and clay for many other uses.

Laguna Clay Company manufactures several distinctly different types of clay products including de aired, pugged, prepared moist clay, dry bagged clay, prepared slip in gallon bottles, dry bagged slip, ferro-filtered porcelain slips, air dry, non firing clay, refractory clay bodies and clays for commercial press operations. Each type of clay is offered in a variety of formulations which provide our customers choices for color, firing maturation temperature, texture and clay body characteristics. This massive selection provides time savings for customers who select by characteristics from proven clays. If Laguna Clay Company does not have a formulation ideal for your use, a custom blend can be made by altering one of our formulations or blending your formula to order.

Laguna Clay Company started with several clay bodies used by Brooks Pottery of Laguna California. Over the years Laguna Clay Company has acquired the assets of several other clay companies. In each instance the clay formulas from companies such as Axner Pottery Supply, Westwood Ceramic Supply, S. Paul Ward, Mineral Ceramic Products, Miller Ceramics and Thorley Refractories became part of Laguna Clay Companyís growing library of clay formulations. This large selection is made available to you by browsing our stock bodies on our web site or conversing with our technicians about your particular clay body requirements.

Potters require de aired, consistently textured, plastic clay for throwing pots on a potters wheel. Laguna Clay Company offers potters clay in moist pugs and bagged dry form. Potters clay can also be used for sculpting, hand building and slab construction. This type of potters clay is available in several different maturing temperature groups, often designated by the "cone temperature" at which the clay becomes sufficiently vitreous enough for use.

Low fire, earthenware or raku clays mature in the 1900 degrees Fahrenheit (cone 04) range. This low maturing temperature is a help in cutting firing costs and also decreases the time needed to fire the pieces. The resulting ware is beautiful but less durable than pieces made with clays maturing at higher temperatures. Low fire clays are often chosen for grade schools, museum education programs, parks and recreation programs and by potters who wish to work in traditional majolica, brilliant color or with raku firing techniques.

Mid range or cone 5-6 clays mature at a range of 2118 to 2291 degrees Fahrenheit. These clays and porcelains give the best of both low and high fire. There is a substantial savings on firing cost, a short firing time and the resulting ware is more durable than low fire clay bodies. Mid fire clay bodies are new to some clay companies but many of the mid range clay bodies from Laguna Clay Company are formulations developed for the southern California potteries and eastern seaboard potteries of the 40ís and 50ís era. Laguna Clay Company also has WC631 #550 for cone 10, WC617 #16 and Frost WC437 translucent porcelains which mature at cone 5 to 6. Our customers can choose from a full range of color and characteristics for tried and true clay or porcelain that is just perfect for their purpose.

High fire clay bodies mature in a range from 2212 to 2426 degrees Fahrenheit. Those which mature in the lower part of the range are designated as cone 7 or 8 clays and are often chosen for salt or soda firing. Those which mature at the high end are designated as cone 10 clays. Most of these clay bodies are formulated to respond positively to light reduction, many will stand up to higher temperatures and most can be fired at a lower temperature with a good result. Laguna Clay Company makes cone 10 porcelain clay, stoneware clay, red clay, brown clay including Soldate 60, and white stoneware clay including Laguna B-Mix. There are also paper clays and clay bodies for specifically for wood firing and sculpture.

Refractory clays are used to make kiln furniture including saggers. Laguna Clay Company offers both pugged and dry forms of refractory clay bodies. Refractory clay can be fired repeatedly and have a maturing temperature of cone 14 or 2500 degrees Fahrenheit.

Slips are clays formulated to be used in a liquid state. Slips are often used to fill a plaster cast. Properly formulated slip will build up clay particles against the walls of a plaster cast as the water in the slip is pulled into the surrounding plaster cast. Preparing slip requires preparations specific to the ph of the water used. Novice slip casters are encouraged to use pre mixed slip which is available from Laguna Clay Company in a range of firing temperatures and colors. All of our slip selections are available in dry form in amounts 50 pounds and above, so once you accumulate experience you can switch to dry and mix your own slip.

The dry press and ram press molding processes utilize a friction or hydraulic press. Ram pressing utilizes very firm wet pugged clay and Laguna Clay Company will alter any clay body for ram pressing on orders of 1 ton and above. Laguna Clay Company offers many formulas for use in dry press clay production with the option for delivery in bulk sacks. Laguna Clay Company also offers mold shop services including production mold rings, master molds, flexible molds and a mold making master class for intensive one week training. Call on Laguna Clay Company for all your production clay needs.

The last group of clays are non firing clays and clays which do not require a kiln. There are three types. One is WED EM217 which is formulated as a wet design clay. WED is utilized to create forms which are then used to create molds for use with other materials like fiberglass, latex or plaster. It is formulated for use while wet. Another type is self hardening clay like Mexo Clay WC641 or Dry-Hard Clay CP600W which will dry as durable as plaster and do not require a kiln. These clays are great for summer programs, day care facilities and camps which have no access to ceramic kilns. The last type is Oven Craft Clay, CP-553, a water based clay that is baked in your oven to create lasting keepsakes and sculptures which can be painted with craft paint or tempera.

Now you can understand Laguna Clay Company's ability to provide the perfect clay for almost any use and the reason for Laguna Clay Company's large selection of clays. The clay available at Laguna Clay Company serves many ceramists, potters and ceramic manufacturers around the world. Laguna clays and slips can be purchased from Laguna distributors across the United States and around the globe. We are here to serve you, try Laguna Clay today.

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