About Clay

We get our clay from Clay Planet, a local ceramic supplier and clay manufacturer.

What is a clay body?

The term clay body refers to the specific clay being used to create a form.  The clay bodies we stock are a mixture of clay, minerals and other raw materials which have been mined from multiple sources and combined to give the clay body particular attributes. Clay bodies come in different colors and textures. Some are good for throwing while others are better suited for handbuilding.

Every clay body is designed to be fired at a specific temperature. The clay we use is designed to be fired to about 2300 degrees Fahrenheit.  Potters refer to this as “high-fire” or “cone-10” clay. You can learn more about the firing process and  firing temperatures by clicking here.

Important Note: Only high-fire or cone-10 clays can be used at BHC. If a clay designed for a lower temperature gets into one of our kilns it will likely melt all over other people’s work and our kiln shelves causing thousands of dollars worth of damage. This is why we only allow clay purchased at BHC to be used in our studio.

Cost of Clay: At BHC, the price of a bag of clay includes tax, firing, glazes, slips, stains, wax, etc.

Clay bodies available at BHC:

BHC Custom (Cone 7-10):  A clay made exclusively for Blossom Hill Crafts. It is good for throwing, handbuilding and Raku. It has more grog than Bravo Buff but the grog size is smaller.

Big Sur (Cone 7-10): A similar formula as our Santa Barbara White, but with the addition of sand & medium grog formulated for larger throwing, while still maintaining a light color. Perfect when you want a lighter clay color for more true glazing color, but with a bit of tooth for wheel-thrown ware or hand building.

Bravo Buff (Cone 6-10): A superb all-around clay body. This long-standing recipe is known for it’s throwing characteristics for large or small work.  Bravo Buff is a unique, premium body with a warm, light-buff to gray color with no iron spots, even in reduction. It can be thrown quite thin and is also excellent for tall pieces.

Cinnamon (Cone 4-10): A high-iron throwing clay with excellent plasticity and thermal shock characteristics, making it especially suitable for functional ware. It has light grog and a fine sand to provide strength with a reasonably smooth finish. It is an orange-chocolate brown in reduction. Do not use dark glazes on cinnamon. Great for red clay raku as well.

 Orion Stout (Cone 7-10): A warm yellow-tan at cone-10 and strong clay body. It has extra strength, yet it’s fine enough for throwing. This clay is excellent for throwing large pieces as well as for sculpting, raku and other situations demanding extra strength.

Santa Barbara (Cone 7-10): A unique smooth white clay with no grog. It is a smooth, very plastic, porcelain-type body successfully used for both small and medium-large functional wheel thrown ware.

Sculpture Raku (Cone 7-10): A heavily grogged, off-white clay body designed specifically for the extreme demands of sculptural work. It is also a good throwing body because it is plastic and does not have very large grog. Due to its strength, it is also excellent for Raku and other special firing methods.

Smooth Sculpture (Cone 5-10): This is a high fire sculpture clay blended to be smooth, yet strong. Fires off-white. It sticks well to itself for fine detail sculpting, with extra fine grog. It also throws and hand builds well!

 T-2 Stoneware (Cone 6-10): At cone-10 it fires a very handsome mahogany brown with light brown & black specks. It speckles most glazes. Hand builds extremely well.

B-Mix (Cone 10): A smooth, cream-white throwing clay that is easy to throw. Excellent glaze results. Fires gray-white in Reduction, lighter in Oxidation.

Dark Brown (Cone 7-10): A medium coarse, dark clay with sand. Turns deep brown in Reduction and brown in Oxidation.

Floor Mix (Cone 10):  This is our studio reclaim clay. It is a mixture of scrap clay and every bag is a bit different. In general, it’s a very good clay for throwing and handbuilding. At times you will find bits and pieces of foreign objects in it. The clay is offered at a reduced price because it is reclaimed.