Porcelain for the People

The reviews of Matt and Dave's Clays are coming in again!

I'm so excited that people are loving our clays! There is one thing that these clays bring up that I don't talk about much. That is the versatility of Porcelain for the People. The two reviewers here are making two completely different things, Pots and Pins. Completely different from last week and the outstanding review by Kathy King who was carving up a storm with her clay. We have another review coming in that we have gotten advanced word on, that says Porcelain for the People is great for a professional pinch potter!

Up here in Alfred, we call Porcelain for the People, "The Porcelain that works like a Stoneware". We really mean that. We have designed a porcelain that is versatile and robust, not floppy and sloppy. We know that a lot of people are intimidated by porcelain. They are told that is is difficult to work with and only for experts. We say that is absolutely true...for normal porcelain. But not with Porcelain for the People. This is a clay that everyone can love, beginner to professional.

First up we have a short review from Ginny Gromer a jewelry maker out of Northern California.
Her review was short and sweet.

"I recently tried the Matt & Dave's Porcelain for the People --- I'm smitten with it"

You can see more of Ginny's work at her Etsy Shop

Our other review is from Heidi Fahrenbacher at Bella Joy Pottery. She has an extensive review that she posted on her blog. She gave me permission to reprint her review, Enjoy.


Today I want to discuss Porcelain for the People by Matt and Dave's Clay. I have been using Standard 130 for about 3 years. It a nice domestic porcelain but there are several problems. One, it is grayer than I would like and two, it always has chunks of stuff in it(anything from metal chunks to unprocessed clay).

I've been toying with the idea of switching to a whiter clay because I've really taken a liking to celedons and they look better on a grolleg body. I was so happy when I found Matt and Dave's Clay on Twitter! I was sold after reading on their website that they are a collaboration of engineers and artists making clay. What a great idea! Matt and Dave's clay is mixed as a slurry and then filter pressed, making the clay more plastic. There is so much detailed scientific information on their website (too much to list here) that after reading it I wanted to get my hands on a sample. I was elated when this arrived in the mail.Look at the difference between the Matt and Dave's Clay on the left and the Standard 130 on the right!The Matt and Dave's Clay is stiffer than the Standard 130. Unlike stoneware, porcelain doesn't have grog in it to give it stability (although some may wedge in molochite) and a slightly stiffer clay helps the form maintain its shapes while throwing. Once I wedged a couple of pounds the clay loosened up and was ready to go.

I have a rule that whatever I'm throwing, no matter the size, should only take 3 pulls. Anymore than that and you are fussing too much with the clay. With Matt and Dave's Clay, it really seemed to take only one pull, two for good measure. Here are the two mugs that I threw in record time!
The handles went on well, with no cracking. Usually before I bisque I wipe down my pots so that the surface is really smooth and ready for glaze application, but with Matt and Dave's Clay there was no need, due to natural smoothness of the clay.

I was really interested in how shinos, copper reds, and celedons would look on the M& D's Clay body.
I think these last two images really attest to the quality of Matt and Dave's Clay and it only shrank about 9%! Have you heard of another grolleg clay to shrink that much? You probably noticed that the handle on the mug on the right is broken. I got a little too aggressive shaking the excess glaze off and broke it. Oops.

Thanks Heidi!

Remember everyone. Matt and Dave's Clays keep Slipcast Blog going.
So go out there and get some!


Linda Starr said...

Hi Matt, great reviews I am sure they are well deserved and I hope to use your clay real soon.

I recently alluded to a post you did about pots in use on my blog, but for the life of me I couldn't find it in the archives on your blog.

Go2girl.etsy.com said...

Great reviews! I'm such a fan of GinPins. I have several of Ginny's pieces! All beautiful.

yarrow1 said...

I enjoyed this review Ginpins does lovely work on and off her etsy site.

Steven said...

The clay sounds delicious. Pity I'm sitting in the backside of the earth! New Zealand. Happy potting.

HeidiMCF said...

Thanks for the re-post! Congrats Ginny!

Matthew Katz said...

Hi Linda.
Was it the Fancy fast food post?
or the Pho

May Luk Ceramics said...

May I ask who does the graphics for your packaging? I object to the Chinese communist propaganda reference. It is the English China Clay that appears to be forbidding for the American common potters who like their clay self-centered. The Chinese Kaolin requires a different way of forming that does not pose a "problem" for Western potters. "-)

Matthew Katz said...

Hi May,
Although English Kaolins are to the consternation of of most American Ceramicists. I beleive this to be a result of the fact that we rely on the English products to supply our needs for Kaolins.
My experience with Porcelains in Jingdezhen, was that they are so heavily feldspathic, that they are nearly impossible to use under the standards of "Hand thrown" performance. This is corroborated but the fact that the porcelains in China tend to be worked under the "Thrown Thick and trimmed the hell out of" method.
None the less, all traditional Porcelains are difficult to work with in one way or another. American, European, Chinese, New Zealand Halloysite (which aren't really "clay" anyway.
Except for our Porcelain for the People, which is designed to be more rugged for throwing and building. Standing up to common porcelain problems, such as throwing slumpage, Wheel Torque and attaching problems.