links         Clay Testing  Moose Creek Feldspar   Packaging            

  Wendt Pottery Helmer Page 2016

                         1-208-746-3724  fax 1-208-746-6968 e-mail 

Now you can order mixed clay only when you need it for  $16.00 + $13.45 shipping (total cost $29.45/box delivered)    The boxes are shipped priority mail so now they are fully insured at no extra cost. That means if a box is lost or damaged, it will be replaced. In all the years I have shipped this way, only two boxes were ever lost.


Easy to throw and strong. Large pots can be made with Helmer in place of ball clay. Mixed , deaired cone 10-12 porcelain  is currently available at my studio in Lewiston for $16.00  for 257 cubic inch pugs (two of these 5.5" x 5.5" x 8.5" pugs fit in the standard medium flat rate box and weigh approximately 38 LBS. They are sold by volume, not weight).  This also yields a useful fact in that the weight of the pugged and deaired clay is  0.0739 lbs per cubic inch which makes it easy to figure the amount of clay needed for some projects like tile or plates of known thickness and diameter.

Our mixing train is all stainless steel and is used only for this clay body so there is no chance of contamination from a low fire clay or grit from a stoneware. The airfloat used to make the body comes from the dust collector on our roll mill and is screened to remove light weight contaminants like feathers and leaves prior to mixing.

Buy by mail for less

A new service offers direct mail shipment anywhere in the 48 states, Alaska or Hawaii of 514 cubic inches of deaired Helmer based porcelain for $29.45  per box  (yes, that's the total price...($16.00 for the clay plus $13.45  for insured shipping). This is a true Helmer body good for oxidation, reduction and especially for wood fire since it flashes the characteristic orange. I have also fired this body to cone 11 and even on occasion, 12. For long duration firings, it would be a good idea to test a few pieces prior to committing to full scale use.

email your order to  place cly1 order in the subject line to bypass the spam filter


Helmer Kaolin (a white sedimentary clay replacement for Avery in pottery) Free samples (1000 g) are supplied upon receipt of the cost of shipping only, limit one request per address.  Additional amounts now available for $20.00 for 20 lbs of 10 mesh dry Helmer shipped anywhere in the 48 states, Alaska or Hawaii. 

1.Chemical Analysis ( XRF by ALS CHEMEX  

 SiO2    Al2O3    Fe2O3    CaO    MgO    K2O    Na2O    TiO2    LOI (loss on ignition) Total

  47        36        1.3        0.48     0.26    0.53    0.08     1.13      13.22               100.00

2. Typical Screen Analysis* (as performed on a Ro Tap multilevel screen)

H30 Screen mesh sizes                 20                 80                    150                pan              total

range of size                                +20           -20 + 80           -80 + 150            -150

fraction %                                 0.5%                17%                 28%               54.5%           100%

Air Float Screen mesh sizes        140                  200                  400                 pan               total

range of size                            +140             -140 + 200     -200 + 400              -400

fraction %                                 1.31%            0.02%             0.22%               98.45%           100%

Airfloat screen data reflects actual O.S. remaining on screen after water washing (Tyler std. screens were used).

*Milling efficiency varies with the dryness of the clay, the relative humidity and the ambient air temperature. This analysis was done on air dried clay (approximately 7-8% residual moisture) at 50% relative humidity and an air temperature of 72 degrees Fahrenheit in the same hammermill we use to process all the clay for sale. Screen mesh is 8 mesh. This is for informational purposes only and is not a guarantee of grind properties.  Wet processing shows that nearly 99% of the clay will pass through a 325 mesh screen when fully dispersed in water.

3. Description of deposit and mining method 

Helmer clay is sedimentary in origin. This block covers 600 acres and is accurately bore holed on 50 foot centers. This one lens contains 1.6 million tons of the clay with the listed composition. It is situated at the far end of an ancient dry lake bed which constitutes much of the white clay in the Helmer-Bovill region of Idaho. Clays nearer to Bovill are higher in silica and feldspar and are coarser grained. Those at the Helmer end are very fine grained and almost devoid of fluxes or free silica. The dark color seen in the dry clay is organic matter. Fired color is white with an iron blush coming from the colloidal iron found in the clay. For porcelain use, we have found that the clay can be made into a thin slurry with water (no deflocculents) and  passed over powerful magnets repeatedly until no more iron is noted. This removes the iron staining and makes a much whiter fired color in the porcelain.

The clay is mined in July and August each year. Overburden is stripped off the top of the clay and set aside. The clay is mined along a vertical face to a depth 6 inches above where the sand deposit is. The clay is spread on the cleaned area and plowed repeatedly to air dry it to about 10-12% moisture. It is then hauled to Lewiston, Idaho where we finish drying it to the 7-8% moisture level. Because it is surrounded by forest lands, we routinely see leaves, wood, grass and some rocks in the clay which are introduced after the clay is mined. A new dust collector on the roll mill has totally eliminated all tramp in the downline grind circuit. This is the most tramp free Helmer has ever been and we are very pleased to have spent the money on the added equipment.  For those with the equipment, fluid processing can remove all the unwanted fine organics on your end very easily and this helps keep your cost low. You can specify a 20 mesh screen run if you let us have some lead time at no  additional cost. Later this year, we are adding a Universal Mill which can grind to 325 mesh so if you want airfloat, it will soon be available as needed. 

4.  Packaging 

We now offer multiple packaging levels. You can order Helmer in 1, 5, 10, 25 and 50 lb bags. We also ship 1800 lb Helmer in a Super Sack on a pallet for customers who want to avoid the disposal of multiwall kraft bags. This option is especially good for resellers who repackage Helmer for resale in smaller quantities. Super sack prices are $40.00/ton less than bagged clay.

5. Purchase Terms

Current bagged price is as listed below:

quantity       1            5         10        25          50          500          1000          1 ton          3 tons         >3 tons


30 mesh    1.50       2.50     3.50      6.00    10.00        90.00         175.00      340.00       950.00       300.00/ton

air float*  2.50       3.50      4.50     10.00    19.00      150.00        260.00      400.00        1080.00     350.00/ton     

Now available in limited amounts!

*Air float is the dust collector fraction and as such represents about 5% of the total capacity. For this reason, large quantities are not available. Air float is best suited for applications where fluid slipping and wet screening are inconvenient or impossible and large quantities are not needed such as in glaze production.

Schools and Universities may use purchase orders. All other purchases are cash, check or bank card except for well rated resellers who qualify for net 30 day terms. Always call ahead to assure that the clay will be ready when you need it. We only mine 500 tons per year and once it is gone, there is no more until the next mining season, so plan ahead

reset 120101 You are visitor # Hit Counter  





(prev count 1577)