Materials used in the manufacture of Ceramics

Ball Clay

Ball Clay

Ball clays are plastic so are suitable for throwing and machine use. For casting they need greater addition of defloculents (chemicals to make them behave as a liquid when water is added). The colours produced after firing vary depending on the clay.

Ball clays were initially dug out of the ground as blocks or balls - hence the name. Their geological age, chemical compositions and geographical locations vary greatly. 

The main areas of occurrence are:

1) The Newton Abbot area of South Devon.

2) Torrington, North Devon

3) Dorset - Isle of Purbeck and Wimbourne 

Extraction is done by both open cast and underground methods. Underground workings rarely extend more than 100 feet below the surface. 

questions / comments? email Steve Birks