|Unfired piece created yesterday and now drying|
The increase in fireclay (I am using Hawthorn Bond) does appear to have strengthened the batch, allowing easier working properties with the coiling technique. In the past, I have added 35 mesh fireclay to produce a bit of 'tooth' in throwing clays without the texture resultant from use of grog. In this case, it is present to increase the structural strength during handbuilding. I used an increase of 3%, which is considerable in an earthenware clay, normally a fairly gentle, light-working body. I may opt for 2% next time, with the other 1% going to ball clay for a slight increase in plasticity.
As for the color, the fire will tell; and for that I must wait until the piece has dried sufficiently! In the meantime, I will continue to experiment with this batch as I rather liked the working properties.