Types of Clay for Bonsai Pots

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Types of Clay for Bonsai Pots

Post  tuscanpistoia on Wed Jun 30, 2010 10:15 am

Hi Everyone

I'm new here, first I'd like to say how amazed I am by some of the pots that others have posted on this forum; they are magnificent.

Now, onto my questions. I wish to have ago at making some bonsai pots; I've been practicing bonsai for a few years, and I've decided its time to try some pots. My Grandmother teaches pottery, and has done for many years, but both her and I are at a bit of a loss as to what type of clay would be best for making bonsai pots with. I live in Australia, and realize that the exact types of clay many of you use may not be available, but can you give me some pointers as to the types of clay that are suitable? some general discriptions, as well as some ideas as to mesh size, and other technical information would be most helpful.

In case it is relevent I would be focusing on shohin sized pots and smaller.

Any help you can offer would be most appreciated

tuscanpistoia
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Clay

Post  Byron Myrick on Wed Jun 30, 2010 1:18 pm

tuscanpistoia,
The one thing that you need to look for first in a clay is one that will vitrify when fired at the temperature you are capable of reaching in your kiln. If the clay absorbs moisture then freezes, the pot will break. Color and texture are important as to the esthetics of the pot, but are things that can be altered in one way or another as you grow in you craft.


Byron Myrick
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Re: Types of Clay for Bonsai Pots

Post  prestontolbert on Mon Jul 05, 2010 6:23 am

Tuscan-
For tropicals, any temp range is suitable, as they won't encounter freezing temps. The lowest temp for all season pots is probably cone 5 with a clay that vitrifies at cone 5. I like to take cone 10 clays to cone 11, and I have friends who take cone 6 clays to cone 7 1/2 to 8 in order to vitrify the body to handle the weather. Your grandma should be able to sort it out for you!

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clay

Post  biglou13 on Sun Jul 25, 2010 1:36 am

i'm super new to pottery

im looking to buy some clay. other than unglazed finish when fired color and vitrification/fire temp. what readily available clays do you suggest, i like the purple to dark brown/red finish. also i probably will start with slump/hump molds. and would like cone 6 and up

i found 266 dried and cracked to much while working it. i liked the workability of bobs sculpture but not the final color, suggestions please

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Re: Types of Clay for Bonsai Pots

Post  rmartin345 on Mon Jul 26, 2010 6:29 am

Bonsai pots are most often used to display plants shaped and styled to look like small old trees.In some cases,these miniature trees are very old, sometimes hundreds of years.Bonsai pots and bonsai soil are inter-related to each other and they are dependent to each other.These two parts of the bonsai care are most important in growth of healthy and beautiful bonsai tree. Pots drainage system and soil quality leads to growing and making of bonsai. So, the bonsai pots and soil takes important parting bonsai growth.

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Re: Types of Clay for Bonsai Pots

Post  DWThomas on Thu Jul 29, 2010 2:22 am

biglou13 wrote:i'm super new to pottery

im looking to buy some clay. other than unglazed finish when fired color and vitrification/fire temp. what readily available clays do you suggest, i like the purple to dark brown/red finish. also i probably will start with slump/hump molds. and would like cone 6 and up

i found 266 dried and cracked to much while working it. i liked the workability of bobs sculpture but not the final color, suggestions please

I've done a number of things with Standard Ceramics #507 "Warm Brown." It's a prepared clay that fires at cone 10.

This is about a 9 inch (23 cm) round in 507; the inside bottom is unglazed, the outside has something the school studio calls "peach black" which is a sort of semi-transparent glaze that's mostly clear except over rough textures. (Cone 10 reduction fired.) (The top rim surface had some matte black brushed on, in addition.)


I love what it does salt fired, but don't currently have a place to do it:

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Re: Types of Clay for Bonsai Pots

Post  biglou13 on Thu Jul 29, 2010 9:05 pm

salt fired is, amazing!!

very nice ive read about salt firing good to see a bonsai pot with it.

the 507 is alot lighter than i thought

i think im going to buy S308 as first purchase if i can get it locally.

any experience with "weber" firing

thanks great info

biglou13
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Re: Types of Clay for Bonsai Pots

Post  Stone Monkey on Thu Jul 29, 2010 9:21 pm

Salt / Soda firing is amazing, very toxic and it eats your kiln up, but still amazing Twisted Evil I have never seen any salt / soda fired Bonsai pots, wonder if any bonsai potter does them?

Andy

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Re: Types of Clay for Bonsai Pots

Post  Klaudia & Martin on Sun Aug 01, 2010 1:16 am

Hey hello

I think I can't help here with the claychoice but I got a link to a friends site.
He is pretty good in woodfiring incl. salt and soda.

http://www.englert-keramik.de/EnglertKeramik/form.html

Kind regards
Martin

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Re: Types of Clay for Bonsai Pots

Post  Morea on Sun Aug 01, 2010 8:30 am

Hello dear all

About the salt firing ??

There are 2 potters i know of who do it sometimes.
Horst H. (Austria) and Rene L. (Belgium)

And i did it Very Happy
In a salt/wood kiln , reduction and a lot of wood pushing
into the kiln hour after hour to reach 1240*C in the night !
It was great fun and hard work.
Here is a pot from that kiln.

Also did it in electric kiln , but than You have to
built a plate, dome and little cups , to protect the cantal wires from been "eaten".
Plate to put the pot on,cups to put the salt in , dome to put over pot and cups.
Did some bonsaipots , sorry have no pictures of them.
Just this picture of electric/salt little pot firing
Kind regards
Morea


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Re: Types of Clay for Bonsai Pots

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