Some simple equipment is all you need. It is amazing how much you can learn from characterizing a body or clay material. You need a gram scale accurate to 0.01 grams (very inexpensive at your ceramic supplier). A set of callipers (again, not expensive these days). Some metal sieves (expensive, so search "Tyler Sieves" on Ebay.com). A stamp to identify samples. A plaster table or slab. A propeller mixer. And, of course, a test kiln. And you need a place to put, and learn from, all the measurement data you will be collecting. An account at insight-live.com is perfect.
Pages that reference this post in the Digitalfire Reference Database:
DFAC Drying Factor, SHAB Shrinkage/Absorption Test, SIEV Sieve Analysis 35-325 Wet, A must-have: Laboratory variable speed propeller mixer, Home-made propeller mixer with mount and switch, Heavy duty mixer mounted on a steel pole, It Starts With a Lump of Clay: How to Assess a Native Clay, Physical Testing, Digitalfire Insight-Live
This post is one of thousands found in the Digitalfire Reference Database. Most are part of a timeline maintained by Tony Hansen. You can search that timeline on the home page of digitalfire.com.