This week's work is my last push for Christmas 2019, and it is heavily loaded with special order pieces, many of which were requested this week. In December, ensuring that all special orders are sized, proportioned, and colored correctly, can be challenging. Delivery is very gratifying.
One interesting development this week is that I am now having my porcelain mixed by Industrial Minerals Company. Last Tuesday, the 10th, My clay mixer motor burned out, leaving me with no porcelain for the forseeable future. I have been developing my glaze and clay recipes since 1984. I have mixed 6000 pounds of my porcelain per year in 100 pound batches for the last 20 years. I have fine tuned the recipe continuously, adjusting my glazes for optimal results.
So, the crew at Industrial Minerals Company kindly offered to mix my current porcelain recipe in a 2000 pound batch. I threw my first 125 pounds this week, and it is working great. IMCO's equipment exerts far more compression on the clay body than mine does, producing a denser, more homogeneous mixture for throwing.
I have ordered a new 1.5 horsepower motor for my clay mixer, so that I can continue to mix my clay bodies for dinnerware, raku, and for Geri's unique vitreous sculpture clay body. I only need to mix a few hundred pounds per year of each of these bodies, which doesn't warrant mixing by the ton. I expect to have my mixer up and running again in the next few weeks.
After this trial 2000 pound run, IMCO will begin mixing my porcelain in 4000 pound batches, freeing me up to focus on other endeavors.