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Rex Johnson

Paper Clay - I'm New To This...

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I'm about to put a clay order in and I'm reading about paper clay at Axner and Laguna websites right now.

I've never had any experience with the stuff...

 

I'm tempted to try it for my large (^6-7) platters and maybe some saggar pieces.

Looks like a very forgiving material, you can throw it, handbuild, everything according to them.

It seems most attractive due to what it says about 'forced drying' and lack of warpage since my studio is outdoors in the desert. Timing is everything outside.

 

Can I get a witness? :)

 

 

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i used paper clay for strength in hand building like my demon dog on my avatar .It worked well for extended arms and legs. Since it has paper in it does not trim great as tools catch on the paper and for thrown forms I would choose groged clay to help warping. Grog even lightly works great at stabilizing warping in forms

I think its better for hand building but you need a sharp tool to cut it.

I had a ton of porcelain groged with super fine white grog and that cured platter warping.

 

Paper clay is good stuff but for thrown forms I did not like it.

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...so it has fibers in it, I see. Good point.

I was thinking for the slump molds I'm using where I roll out a slab first.

From the descriptions it's more forgiving in general and less warpage with thick and uneven pieces.

The next platters will be more chunky and less perfect.

Probably good for that, yeah?

 

IMG_4483-L.jpg

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Paper clay is great for large slump mold platters. I do 30" platters. Center mold on wheel and slab roller clay and transfer to mold. I slip and score a large coil and then throw a foot. Glazes pretty good in reduction cone 10. I use a deairing pug mill to reclaim; wedging by hand can be done but pretty hard on the hands and wrist. I have thrown with it but it would be one of my last choices.

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Paper clay will function well for what you are doing. You can dry it with a torch but that cracks the plaster sometimes. The full sun won't bother it.

 

 

I couldn't stand the way it felt after firing. You know how if you ping a rim of a large bowl you get a beautiful ring? With paper clay it will sound dead.

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Paper clay will function well for what you are doing. You can dry it with a torch but that cracks the plaster sometimes. The full sun won't bother it.

 

 

I couldn't stand the way it felt after firing. You know how if you ping a rim of a large bowl you get a beautiful ring? With paper clay it will sound dead.

 

Wow, that's weird. Well if it's as dense and durable as other earthenware I'm going to give this stuff a try.

Thanks ya'll!

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Paper clay is great for pushing limits in forming, and makes some otherwise impossible things possible due to increased green strength. The final product is actually slightly less durable though, because it Is more porous because the paper fibre burns out. It's easy enough to make out of some of your existing reclaim if you just want to try out a few pounds to see what it's like. The method I was taught was to fill a container with 80% slip and 20% pulp, and mix with a blunger. That ratio can be adjusted to taste.

 

Do be warned, it stinks in a new and fascinating way after about 2 weeks when the fibre begins to rot. Make only as much as you need at a go. People will advise you to add a capful of bleach to prevent this, but it only delays the inevitable.

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Do be warned, it stinks in a new and fascinating way after about 2 weeks when the fibre begins to rot. Make only as much as you need at a go. People will advise you to add a capful of bleach to prevent this, but it only delays the inevitable.

 

While Diesel's warning is true, all is not lost. Cannot find the original ref, but here

is my memory of it from a 2009 clayart posting.

 

Many years ago I read a letter in one of the ceramic mags from a potter who developed a

chronic farmer's lung condition, apparently from mould spores given off from "off" paperclay.

So it's not something you want to have around year-on-year.

 

His solution was very simple, just drying the paperclay into ingots (prob.in a plaster mould).

He reconstituted the nextday's clay in a bowl with a measured amount of water in it. The great

wicking you get from the paper fibre ensured that it was usable by the next day, maybe sooner.

Regards, Peter

 

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