We are happy to say that most of the supply chain issues we have experienced over the last three years have disappeared...however, certain materials are still difficult to get and the cost of some materials has gone through the roof. Here are just some of the examples.
We are happy to say that most of the supply chain issues we have experienced over the last three years have disappeared…however, certain materials are still difficult to get and the cost of some materials has gone through the roof. Here are just some of the examples.
EPK continues to be very difficult to keep in supply. A normal lead time was 2 weeks after ordering a truck load. The current lead time is 5 months…if we are lucky! This kaolin has been a staple in most clays and glazes for many decades. It is the whitest firing clay mined in North America so it is often used to formulate porcelains. We have been forced to adjust some formulas to make the scarce supply last. We have also been forced to limit the amount that individual customers can purchase.
Another issue is the supply of Gerstley Borate, which is a commonly used material in glazes. This year the cost is almost 4 times what it was last year, the supply is very limited, and soon, it will no longer be available. We are currently testing a substitute called Gillespie Borate. This material has been available for many years and all indications are that it will be an excellent replacement. It will also be about 1/4 of the price of Gerstley Borate.
The supply of silica is stable, but since 2020, the price for 400 mesh (which we all use in glazes) has increased by 83%. The 200 mesh silica (which is in almost every clay body) has increased in price by 63%.
Nepheline Syenite, one of the most commonly used materials in clay bodies and glazes, has more than doubled in price!
This is not to mention the astronomical increases in Lithium, and lithium-containing minerals like spodumene, since it is used in car batteries.
Tucker’s has made substantial investments in warehouse space and equipment that allows us to purchase materials in even larger quantities to try and mitigate the effect of some of the supply and price issues.
The great news is that there has never been as much interest and excitement about ceramics as there is today.
June 1, 2023 marked the first day of our 49th year in business! Many of our original customers are still with us and it is wonderful to meet so many new ceramic artists, young and less-young! We are very grateful for this support.
All of us at Tucker’s Pottery Supplies and Cone Art Kilns are more committed than ever to make your experience with us an enjoyable one.
We welcome any comments you may have.
Have a great summer!