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Elephant Platter/Wall Hanging

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Lizella Clay

I've made a few pieces with Lizella Clay recently because it's a local clay which comes from Lizella GA.  I think buying local is good for the economy and the environment so I thought I'd give it another try (I used it about 2 years ago).
It's a very soft clay but also very course which makes it great for sculpture and throwing although I may need to practice with it more if I want to throw anything very delicate.  I have seen very delicate walled pots made with this clay, I'm just not good at it yet.  It's also nice because it needs less water when throwing due to the softness.  The clay has a high iron content (4%) which makes firing above cone 9 not recommended but it also doesn't vitrify at cone 6.  These are just factors to consider when determining what to make with the clay and how to treat the surface.
The bisque fired clay is a bright, brick red that is really attractive and would be wonderful for flower pots.  I do want to try more low fire experiments with this clay for that reason.
In high fire reduction the body gets very dark and metallic looking.  Some of the pieces I've fired in reduction look great, others go to the charity cases bin.  It's too dark for me but lots of people think it's great.  I prefer the way the body looks in oxidation, it's a rich, dark red brown.  The high iron will, of course effect glaze colors as you can see in the picture.  This can be nice and earthy.
I want to see how it works with Terra Sig and with the Borax wash that I was on Tracey Broome's blog.  I'll keep you updated.
Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery


  1. Oh no, I shouldn't have read this post, I love using different clays, this one looks really rich and warm and handbuilding with it sounds like it would be a dream. Love the texture you have on the bottom of your pots, beautiful richness to your glazes too.

  2. It's a wonderful clay, but even when fired to maturity at about cone 9, it never completely vitrifies so leaks. Most glazes will not stop a clay from leaking because of crackle (even if it is too fine to see). If you make a mug or anything that will hold liquids out of Lizella it will probably leak (very slowly) unless you add chems to it to make it vitrify. Sometimes the leak is so slow that you have to leave a mug of water on a sheet of paper overnight to see it, but imagine what a Lizella vase on a grand piano would do.

    1. Hi Jim, I've heard about Lizella not vitrifying, this is one of the reasons I use it for garlic keepers that I want to breathe. Those are low fired and have air holes to ensure breathing and that nobody tries to store liquid in them. I'd never use lizella for a vase and, like you, highly recommend against it even though I've never had an issue with pieces leaking (and I have tested extensively) I tend to think it's better for dry use. Thanks for your comments. I appreciate them and suspect my readers will too.


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