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Why Didn't Someone Tell Me About Paperclay!?!


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#21 jrgpots


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Posted 18 February 2017 - 01:29 AM

Can one substitute dryer lint for paper? It wouldn't technically be paper clay anymore...


#22 Magnolia Mud Research

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Posted 18 February 2017 - 11:07 AM


The answer is yes,

And if the lint is all cotton, the performance will be similar to use of paper. 
The lint fibers will be a lot longer, and this could either be a benefit or could be a problem depending on the forms, techniques, etc.
If the lint is synthetic fiber, you will not get the same benefit of moisture movement via the cellulose fibers (in paper)  during drying and the 'burn out' gases will probably smell different and probably will take require a different temperature for complete burnout.

#23 yersincathy



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Posted 02 March 2017 - 01:16 PM



I have a tricky question about paper clay and I am having a hard time finding an answer, maybe someone here will be able to help:


- Is it really necessary to empty a sculpture made with paper clay before firing it?


Would be awesome to hear about your experiences,


Thank you!

#24 Diesel Clay

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Posted 02 March 2017 - 02:53 PM

Yes, you still have to carve out a solid paper clay sculpture. The paper pulp makes the clay more porous and somewhat lighter because of that, but all the gasses and water vapour still need to burn off from the centre of the piece. You in fact have additional gasses to burn off because of the paper fibre combusting, which can exacerbate any of the usual complications if you don't dry and bisque properly.

The good news is, paper clay lends itself extremely well to building hollow forms in the first place. Slab build your piece around some firmly wadded newspaper, and leave an opening large enough that you can just pull the paper filling out once the sculpture is pretty dry, and then enclose it with another slab of paper clay. The paper pulp will allow you to attach two pieces of clay to each other that have wildly different moisture content, without any cracking. It's a pretty cool magic trick.

#25 preeta


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Posted 03 March 2017 - 12:40 AM



a plug for our local paperclay artist who does NOT work exclusively in paper. but uses the qualities of paper clay to its fullest. 

"Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go." T.S. Eliot

#26 deborah6



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Posted 10 April 2017 - 04:01 PM

Love paper clay. I find it reclaims extremely well. My big tip is: When you you're done creating...roll out your leftover clay as thin as possible and lay it out to dry in wavy slabs, it'll dry pretty fast (maybe turn it over every so often). When bone dry, break it up and toss it into a bag, bin whatever storage you want. This alleviates storing wet paper clay which gets moldy and very smelly. When you need clay, add water like you normally would do to reclaim any clay, and since you rolled it thin, and is filled with paper pulp it reconstitutes really fast. I came up with this solution after the other folks I shared a studio with starting yelling at me about the smell!

#27 oddartist


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Posted 20 April 2017 - 09:54 PM

So far my only complaints are:

  1. It's addictive.
  2. Tried re-bisqueing a mask that had come loose from the base (all the same paperclay), which I had tried to reattach with more paperclay. Did not work at all. Came loose again immediately.
  3. I have to babysit the fully-open garage during the burn-out stage so the neighbors don't panic and call the Fire Department. Curious as to what this might do to the kiln coils. I don't put the plugs in until it quits smelling like a campfire.

Cool things I've discovered:

  1. I can roll it out thin and use scissors to cut shapes when it's partially dried. Almost like cutting thick felt.
  2. I can forget to cover something I'm working on or even save pieces of a failed attempt that is bone dry and all it takes is a few spritzes of water to bring it back to life.
  3. It dries quickly enough to provide a solid backbone for delicate sculpture.

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