The History of B-mix as told by Martin Butt of Coyote Clay Fame
Yes my name is really Martin Butt. Yes I am the developer of B-Mix.
Long winded story follows;
got the recipe that was the basis for b mix from a local potter (Gary P?)
who later had it commercially produced by An Howe, who then started selling it
as WW. (White Wabbit Bob B)(AnHowe later became Ceramic King and then New Mexico Clay)
(Local nmclay lore has it that the recipe was posted on the wall near the pugmill)
had altered the formula as well as some materials (different ball clay and
kaolin) to make it more user friendly, and mixed it myself on a small scale.
Later, when I became a Laguna distributor (Porcelain & Stoneware Supply) I
sent the recipe to Jon at Laguna to mix for me. He altered the raw materials
used to what he had on hand (again different ball clay and kaolin). At the
time, that was the only special mix he did for me, so I never really named it;
the pallets of clay were marked "Butts Mix" and the name stuck. When
Jon started selling it all over HE started calling it B-Mix (said it sounded
better: hard to argue with that!). I got a big pugmill about 10 years later and
went back to producing it myself, and for a while I sold my version alongside
Laguna’s version.. I am now concentrating on teaching and running Coyote
studios, but I do still sell clay on a smaller scale, B-Mix being one of the
clays I still make. Because of that I won't give out the recipe, but I can tell
you this. It is basically a traditional porcelain with the addition of ball
clay, 20% or so, and a little bentonite. Not real white or translucent, but
nice to use. SO; kaolin, silica, feldspar, ball clay, bentonite is what is in
it. (Daniel Rhodes book Clay and Glazes for the Potter has the original mix) I
know that Tom Coleman uses an Aardvark clay called bee mix, but I believe he
mentioned PV clay in it, so it isn’t anything close to what I came up with. As
far as who "stole what from who", A. Who cares, and B. it’s all a
I got the original formula from a local guy who also gave it to New Mexico Clay who Now sells it as CK-Mix for the old Ceramic King name.
I believe that the potter was a little "surprised" when it was sold commercially, but I heard that second hand. Laguna got the formula from me; Jon at Laguna gave me a formula in return, which in turn became the basis for most of the stoneware I make. No "royalties" involved (I wish!), but Laguna always
treated me well, no complaints here. I sometimes mention that I stole most of the recipe from New Mexico Clay mostly just to needle them (they were my
completion for a long time), but also because I am uncomfortable taking full credit for something which is just another variation on a theme. This recipe
was built on what lots of potters have done before, as is the case with all clay recipes.
Thanks, Martin Butt
Martinb888@AOL.COM on mon 29 oct 01
WARNING: This product can expose you to chemicals including Silica, crystalline (airborne particles of respirable size), which are known to the State of California to cause cancer. For more information go to www.P65Warnings.ca.gov.