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earthen clay adobe?

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I have decided to replace the grillable kitty litter paste in the bottom of my forge with some form of adobe lining, which will also allow my to sculpt the inside shape how I want it, as opposed to flat plane. I am gonna use Tim Lively's mix of 1/2 sand, and 1/2 earthen clay, but I have no idea what earthen clay exactly is, or what makes it so special.
Therefore my questions are: what is earthen clay and what makes it so special?

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Earthen clay is dirt that will clump together. You are making your journey towards having a forge verra complex, friend Archie. :) I commend to you the 55 Forge, and I suggest that since you probably have a pretty good computer, to look around online and find lots of pictures of people's forges.

Note that if the dirt+sand cracks... just wet some dirt into mud and pack it in the cracks. K.I.S.S.

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Archie -- Clay is a natural earthen material. There are specific clay minerals and there are clay-sized sediment particles. Both are very fine-grained, and are slippery when wet. Traditional kitty litter is one type of clay material that is used to absorb moisture. Some clays are used as filler in fine paper and also in some foods. Others are used to make pottery & china. Thus, clays vary and not all clays are alike.

You want a clay that will hold it's form when heated to a high heat and not crack. A fire clay from a place that sells fireplace building products or potter's kiln lining products. These are clays with high refractory properties that can stand high heat. An alternative is to experiment with local clay soils -- like my yard -- and hope to find one that works, at least for awhile.

Hope this gibberish helps some. For specific detail, check a library dictionary or geological dictionary. There are textbooks that just discuss clays if you want to go overboard. Good luck.

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Archie I was going to wax lirical about the best type of clay for your forge having studied the soil profiles of the Salem area. By my reckoning the best clay for your purpose will come from the.....Hang on, wait a minute, hold your horses, enough is enough. I'm going to keep mum until I see hard evidence of the progress of your efforts so far. You promised us pictures. I want pictures. I need pictures. I can't live without pictures. I must have pictures. No more words till the pictures arrive.

Ahh come on Archie show us some pikkies.

BTW I was kidding about my geological expertise. Just as any port will do in a storm, any clay will do in your first forge.


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