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Ashraf Hanna Raku Clay

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  • Ashraf Hanna Raku Clay

    I recently heard of a clay body called 'Ashraf Hanna' presumably named after the Egyptian ceramacist. The description suggested it was highly resistant to the thermal shock involved in the raku process.

    I thought I would give it a try and bought some bags off ebay. Having said that I now realise it is also known as PF520 from Scarva under their professional range of earthstones.

    It was a delight to throw and I was successful in making 3 pots that I felt were shapes that would test the clays thermal shock, i.e. quite open and not as even as I would normally have to do with the scarva smooth textured earthstone.

    My question relates to the surface texture on turning the bases of the pots. It appears to be quite rough and gritty. Has anyone else had experience of this clay? did you find it to be quite gritty at the turning stage? (not that gritty during throwing).

    I have now let it dry out prior to bisque firing and have decided to burnish it and wondered also what techniques you may have found especially useful on gritty clay?

  • #2
    OMG, Ashraf is the friend I was talking about on your other post! I taught him the basics of pottery way back in London when he first started out - he was already a designer so took to potting like a duck to water. He used to come to my classes with his girlfriend Sue. He soon surpassed his teachers and went on to great stuff. I lost touch with him years ago when he went back to Egypt. I had no idea there was now a clay named after him. I have one of his pots from one of his first exhibitions in London, in fact I'm looking at it right now.

    Ashraf was always such a delightful guy. I wonder what he's up to now? I'll have to Google him!
    Daesul

    http://www.clairemanwani.com
    http://www.folksy.com/shops/clairemanwani
    http://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/ClaireManwaniPottery

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    • #3
      The following is on Valentine clays site:

      ASHRAF HANNA RAKU BODY (PF 520)
      The very best white smoke fired/raku body on the market. With over 55% molochite, this body can withstand the most extreme thermal shock. This is due to its high alumina plastic ball clay, and three different grades of molochite.
      This body has very low shrinkage and has a medium texture and is highly resistant to warping and cracking.
      Firing 900°C - 1200°C

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      • #4
        I just Googled Ashraf and have found his contact details, so I've emailed him. Wow, he's certainly become famous since I last saw him! Makes me feel very insignificant as far as my work is concerned.
        Daesul

        http://www.clairemanwani.com
        http://www.folksy.com/shops/clairemanwani
        http://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/ClaireManwaniPottery

        Comment


        • #5
          Great idea, I have also emailed him asking about 'his' clay and best techniques in handling it..

          Comment


          • #6
            I have had an excellent response direct from Ashraf himself and will have a go at his suggestion regarding burnishing the PF520 clay,

            Comment


            • #7
              That's great - Ash is a lovely guy. Thanks to reading your post I'm back in touch with him and his wife again and hope to be seeing them in July!
              Daesul

              http://www.clairemanwani.com
              http://www.folksy.com/shops/clairemanwani
              http://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/ClaireManwaniPottery

              Comment


              • #8
                Wow, what a great short story from a post on a craft forum. Think we need a new thread along the lines of pottersreunited?

                Comment


                • #9
                  A liitle disappointed with the results of my first glazing on the PF520 clay. The burnishing made the caly body slightly darker/greyer, which turned slightly brown/orange after bisque firing. It did crackle but long thin and fine styrations rather than a wide crackle. The smooth textured earthstone from Scarva, glazed the same as the PF520 turned out white with broad crackle just how I like it.

                  Anyone else have such results?

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                  • #10
                    This is the result that i mentioned in previous post:



                    Whereas this is the result on the smooth textured one that I prefer:




                    The smooth textured clay gives much wider broader crackle whereas the PF520 gives narrow, fine styrations?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Porridge View Post
                      Wow, what a great short story from a post on a craft forum. Think we need a new thread along the lines of pottersreunited?
                      Definitely! Ash has an exhibition at the Royal College of Art the last week of this month, so I'm going along with another friend who also knows Ash. He did send me an invite to the Private View, but it was for the weekend before and I'll be at an event so can't go. But he assures me he'll be there when I do go, so we'll be able to catch up.
                      Daesul

                      http://www.clairemanwani.com
                      http://www.folksy.com/shops/clairemanwani
                      http://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/ClaireManwaniPottery

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Have a good time, I am sure you will see some great pieces.

                        I went to a local exhibition of a neighbours ceramics collection, part of which featured some really interesting ones from Ashraf.

                        Makes mine look decidedly second league!

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Porridge View Post
                          featured some really interesting ones from Ashraf.

                          Makes mine look decidedly second league!
                          How do you think I feel? When he first came to my studio to learn pottery, he'd never laid hands on clay before. His girlfriend (now wife) had been potting for a while, so she helped him more than I did to be honest. By then I'd already been potting for years. Now here I am still plodding along, while he's a mega-star!

                          Can't begrudge him it though, he's such a lovely person and deserves it.
                          Daesul

                          http://www.clairemanwani.com
                          http://www.folksy.com/shops/clairemanwani
                          http://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/ClaireManwaniPottery

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Am planning to go along and see his work next Wednesday at RCA. Also looking forwad to The Earth and Fire event at Rufford, Nottinghamshire this weekend.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Porridge View Post
                              Am planning to go along and see his work next Wednesday at RCA.
                              Maybe I'll see you there then, I'm there either on Weds or Thurs, not sure yet. If you see a large blonde lady with a teeny dark haired lady, both probably giving Ash a big hug, I'm the blonde one!
                              Daesul

                              http://www.clairemanwani.com
                              http://www.folksy.com/shops/clairemanwani
                              http://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/ClaireManwaniPottery

                              Comment

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