Low temperature, smooth, medium plastic, light cream to grey buff burning, refined talc earthenware. L212 is a mix of our cleanest native stoneware clays with 33% added talc. It is intended for good fit with commercial bottled glazes (i.e. Duncan, Mayco, Spectrum) and is a popular body for use in schools.


September 2021: The entire industry is phasing out of the use of talc, it is happening suddenly. That means we must change this body. You can find more information on our work at this page.

Process Properties

We have added a little ball clay and bentonite to improve and control the plasticity of L212 while it still retains the unique working properties and dry strength common to bodies in its family (H550, M340, Buffstone). Like classic ball clay:talc ceramic mixtures, this body has a unique and very pleasant smooth feel for throwing and modelling forms of all shapes and sizes.

L212 dries fairly quickly with minimal cracking. However it is fine grained so joins should be made using low water content slip and applying as much pressure and lateral movement as possible.


L212 bars fired at cone 04, 02, 2, 4 and 6 (bottom to top).

Although this body does not burn as white as L213 it is less expensive for us to manufacture. It fires best at cone 06-04. The color darkens to a yellow buff by cone 2, then to a grey buff by cone 4 and above. If you want to produce denser stronger ware you might consider firing L212 to cone 02 or higher. However we recommend you do this with caution because bodies of this type tend to melt suddenly. Although L212 might appear OK at cone 4, ware tends to be brittle at this temperature. Also, the volatility is not consistent; that is, L213 will melt at different temperatures for different runs.

Since L212 contains a significant amount of talc, it has a unique firing behavior. The talc significantly increases the thermal expansion of the ware. This is a disadvantage if ware will be used for functional purposes since it will not have as good thermal shock resistance. However the advantage is that contraction during cooling squeezes the glaze onto the ware and helps prevents it from crazing.

L212 is not made from white burning ball clay and talc as are typical ceramic slips. Thus it does not burn nearly as white.

It is important to realize that talc bodies of this type do not vitrify at cone 06-04. A typical thinly cast or thrown shape can often be torn apart with your bare hands.

Since L212 contains bentonite you must be careful not to fire too fast during early stages. Ball clay is very plastic and fine and thus does not vent water vapor quickly during the water smoking period of firing. We recommend that you candle the kiln overnight to give the ware a chance to dry thoroughly before starting the firing the next morning.

To get the best defect-free surface please consider using the drop-and-hold slow-cool 04DSDH firing schedule.


L212 underglaze decorated mug fired at cone 03. Outside glaze is G2931H clear. The liner glaze is Crysanthos SG001 white.

We cannot guarantee that commercial brushing glazes will not craze or shiver, please test. Regarding toxicity: Do not assume food surface safety of brightly colored glazes in your kiln without a leach test (e.g. GLLE test). Consider using a transparent or white liner glaze for food surfaces.

Although commercial bottled products are expensive, they are most convenient. For higher production it is practical to make your own dipping or brushing base glazes that dry faster and do not craze or shiver. Our G1916Q and G3879 and recipes may be a good starting point.

For slip decoration and engobes be careful to match the fired shrinkage of the slip with the body. Where we do not recommend a specific engobe recipe use a one based on the porcelain itself. Add 2% VeeGum or Bentonite (the extra stickiness helps it adhere well to leather hard ware). Be careful about adding fluxes (e.g. frit), this increases fired shrinkage (the mismatch with body can cause flaking) and can compromise opacity.

Buffstone, L212 and L213. Each has its own clear glaze. G2931L, G2931K and G2931H.
L is low expansion (for zero-talc porous bodies like Buffstone). K is intermediate (for moderate-talc bodies like L215, Zero3 stoneware and porcelain). H is high-expansion (for higher-talc bodies like L212, L213).

Thermal Expansion

We do not supply thermal expansion values. If a chart is supplied here, please view it only as a way to compare one body with another. Please note that, although you may calculate the thermal expansion of a glaze, this cannot be done for clay bodies since they do not melt. The best way to fit glazes to clay bodies is by testing, evaluation, adjustment and retesting. For example, if a glaze crazes, adjust its recipe to bring the expansion down, fire a glazed piece and thermal stress it (using an IWCT test, 300F into ice-water). If it still crazes, repeat the process.

Physical Properties

 Drying Shrinkage: 6.0-7.0%
 Dry Strength: n/a
 Water Content: 21.5-23.0%
 Drying Factor: C120
 Dry Density: 1.96

Sieve Analysis (Tyler mesh):

     +65: 0.1-0.5%
  65-100: 0.5-1.5
 100-150: 1.0-2.0
 150-200: 1.0-2.0
 200-325: 6.0-10.0

Fired Shrinkage:

 Cone 04: 1.5-2.5%
 Cone 02: 3.0-4.0
  Cone 2: 4.0-5.0

Fired Absorption:

 Cone 04: 11.0-14.0%
 Cone 02: 9.0-12.0
  Cone 2: 5.0-7.0

Safety Data Sheet

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Logo Plainsman Clays Ltd.
702 Wood Street, Medicine Hat, Alberta T1A 1E9
Phone: 403-527-8535 FAX:403-527-7508