|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.