Due to very limited sales of H431 we have chosen to discontinue production this clay body immediately (as of Jan 27, 2017). We have approximately 2 months inventory remaining and once sold it will no longer be produced. To our valued customers using H431: Please consider trying one of our comparable clay bodies (such as H550, H435 or H450).


High fire, sandy, medium plastic, semi-vitreous, grey burning speckled, native body for reduction fired stoneware.

H431 is the body of choice for people looking for a textured light burning body with a more natural earthy speckled fired appearance and reduction speckling. However, if you use H431 we recommend that you consider carefully its limitations as outlined below. For functional applications, H550 is a better choice.

Process Properties

H431 is a balance of high amounts of very plastic ball clays and bentonites with a very significant amount of sand and silty clay to cut plasticity. H431 thus has a very sandy feel during throwing. This sand generates more than the usual amount of slip with the associated loss of fine particles from the surface. The open structure of H431 also means that extra water can be absorbed during throwing so it will not stand up as well to over-working on the wheel (as is normal with students).

The sand and silt content in H431 also means that it is more susceptible to water-splitting during throwing or hand building. The abundance of larger particles provides openings into which water can penetrate and split the soft clay. Thus it is very important that you use water sparingly during throwing and make sure that it does not stay long on points where the clay is under stress (i.e. the outside of the belly on a vase). With H431 it is practical to develop modified handle pulling techniques and use s lip rather than water during throwing. In addition it is wise to immediately sponge away excess slip squeezed out of joins (often such splits are misinterpreted as drying cracks).


These fired test bars (left to to right) compare H431, H550 and H435 at cone 10R (top) and cone 11, 10, 9 and 8 oxidation.

The most striking effect that this body will have on the fired glaze is the formation reduction speckle. H431 contains significant amounts of iron stone concretion particles which melt vigorously in high temperature reduction and blossom on the bare surface or bleed up through glazes (it has the most speckle of any of our non-brown burning bodies). Other than the degree of specking, the appearance of the fired body in high temperature oxidation and reduction is quite similar.

Since H431 contains bentonite and highly plastic ball clay it cannot be bisque or once fired as fast as other bodies or cracking and disintegration can occur. It is thus important to fire slowly through the 100-200C range where water turns to steam and needs to vent out of the clay (it is best to pre-heat your kiln overnight on low).

If you must refire any ware to fix imperfections, remember that due to the high sand content, fired H431 ware requires slower heating and cooling through quartz inversion temperatures.


H431 bisque ware should be fired to about cone 06 and even though it is dense it is still quite absorbent and takes glaze fairly well. The open structure of the bisque means that glazes will tend to pinhole during drying as water-displaced air escapes from minute surface holes.

H431 will not perform well in thermal shock situations (i.e. teapots) if the glaze does not fit well. This body has a fairly high fired strength which can be significantly impacted if ware has a glaze which does not fit properly. Do not judge your glaze as fitting because there are no visible signs of trouble when the ware is removed from the kiln, use an ice water:boiling water immersion test to make sure.

Glaze Recipes

Consider using our standard G2571A matte and G2947U glossy base glazes as starting points. Information is given on adding colorants, opacifiers and variegators to make any effect you want. You will also find excellent recipes made from Ravenscrag Slip and Alberta Slip (on their respective websites, and For slip decoration, be careful to match drying and fired shrinkage of the slip with the body.

Physical Properties

 Drying Shrinkage: 6.0-7.0%
 Dry Strength: n/a
 Water Content: 19.0-20.5%
 Drying Factor: C120-C130

Sieve Analysis (Tyler mesh):

     +48: 0-0.2%
   48-65: 0.0-0.5
  65-100: 3.0-5.0
 100-150: 8.0-12.0
 150-200: 4.0-7.0
 200-325: 6.0-10.0

Fired Shrinkage:

   Cone 8: 4.0-5.0%
  Cone 10: 4.5-5.5
 Cone 10R: 4.5-5.5

Fired Absorption:

   Cone 8: 4.5-6.5%
  Cone 10: 2.5-3.5
 Cone 10R: 1.5-2.5


A cone 10R vase made from H431. Tony Hansen.

Safety Data Sheet

Click here for web view.

We Are Rationalizing Our Product Line

Plainsman manufactures bodies by grinding and pugging clays that we mine (native bodies) and by batch mixing bagged minerals and materials that we import (refined bodies). We stock about 10,000 boxes of 50+ clays (some in multiple stiffnesses) and need to reduce the warehousing and production burden of small-run bodies and remove obsolete and legacy products. For bodies being discontinued: We have migration paths and can assist with issues. Some changes involve increased cost. In certain cases you might consider having us custom-mix a body so you can continue to get it, but please work with us on trying to adapt to alternatives first.

This product has issues

  • This body is too similar to others that are superior to justify its production.
  • This body contains materials that we longer mine or get.
  • This contains excessive sand that causes splitting and throwing problems.
  • This contains excessive silt, it causes splitting and impedes plasticity.
  • This body lacks plasticity and it cannot be improved without drying problems.
  • This body is no longer in demand by customers.
Logo Plainsman Clays Ltd.
702 Wood Street, Medicine Hat, Alberta T1A 1E9
Phone: 403-527-8535 FAX:403-527-7508