A frequent question we receive at Garage Clay is, “What is the difference between Laguna’s B-Mix (white stoneware) and WC 617 porcelain clay we carry?” As they are very similar in some ways, there are some slight differences to be aware of when deciding which one is best for you. As potters ourselves, we enjoy switching between the two for a slight variety and find pros + cons in both listed below. When in doubt, try both!
Pros: Buttery soft when throwing. Feels easier on the hands than abrasive clay bodies. Easy to manipulate on the wheel. When trimming, it is soft and trims with ease. Doesn’t wear out tools. Fires to a beautiful, almost white. All glazes look great on porcelain due to its light and smooth nature. Gives a very “finished” look to all pieces.
Cons: Generally, the most expensive clay body due to the refinement it requires. Not recommended for beginners learning to throw as it is not forgiving [easily can be bumped off center/out of shape]. When fired, it gives no variation in glaze and lacks organic nature.
Pros: Throws very smoothly and feels nice on the hands. Can withstand more aggressive throwing motions and manipulation of pieces being thrown. Forgiving to small bumps and easily repairable when wet. Trims easily. Fires to an off white with a mild cream color. Pairs well with all glazes and brings out vibrant colors in bright glaze. Medium to low cost per 25lbs.
Cons: Doesn’t have a pure white finish that some ceramicists want to achieve when glaze fired. Still could be considered too soft for some learning to throw on the wheel.