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How do u do clay artwork in certain conditions???????

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If my guess is correct. Your nearest Ceramic supply stores would be in Grand Rapids. There are quite few in the area. Do you have art classes in your school? I would check with your local art teacher if you are really interested in Ceramic art/craft. At the same time you could visit some of the suppliers in the Grand Rapids area, and they could put you on to any local groups that would help you with your new passion. You can always get posts here on the forum, but sometimes you do best if you ask more specific questions about what you are interested in. This is a group of enthusiasts, amateurs and professionals, old and some young, but all of us are here trying to help and get help with specific, and often complex problems. 

I highly recommend that you begin learning more about clay materials and processes by visiting the past forum posts and reading through those that interest you. The search engine in the home page will refer you to questions, or words that you type in across all of the different forum categories. 

Good luck on your journeys to an understanding of clay.




Edited by Pres
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I'd add that your local public library might have some decent books on making things with clay, and would not cost you anything.  That might give you some information before you start spending money. There are so many different ways to work with clay, and so many different types, including the kinds in craft stores that don't require fancy, expensive equipment and tools. 


Edited by LeeU
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Hi, dog lover! Welcome to the world of clay! Clay tools are really basic - fingers first! When I am working with clay away from my studio I can usually scrounge up a few necessary tools nearby that work as well as commercially made ones. 

A strong cord or piece of fishing line is a good cut-off wire for separating workable chunks from the larger clay block and for removing your work cleanly from a board.  Tie the ends to clothespin halves or popsicle sticks for handles. Narrow gauge picture hanging wire is good for this, too.

Clothespins and popsicle sticks can be sharpened on the sidewalk to make useful carving tools. 

Outdated credit cards are perfect scrapers and shapers. They can be cut to customized shapes easily to give you interesting surfaces, like cutting cogs or pointy teeth or scallops. You can make really narrow scrapers for tight areas. Their flexibility lets you bend them as needed. 

I use a sharpened pencil for drawing and writing on clay. You can insert a heavy needle or skinny nail backwards into the eraser to make a needle tool for poking holes and working small areas.

Bobby pins and hair pins and barrette clips can be adapted for use as wire tools to gouge out large or small bits. 

You posted elsewhere about exploding clay. Your experiment is interesting, but I think you'll find that explosions are uncommon in unfired clay. That problem occurs during firing with work that only seems dry but really still has moisture in it. The best explosion prevention is to pre-dry your work when it feels dry to the touch by putting it in a cold oven, turning the temp to Very Low and letting the piece remain there overnight or longer with the oven door slightly open (I stick a wooden spoon in the door to keep it open just the width of the spoon handle). Note: Never use the microwave for drying - talk about explosions!

Your library and the internet are excellent resources with lots of information available. Read and watch everything you can, clay is so much fun!


Edit: adding a spray bottle of water, to moisten clay that is drying out, and a small piece of sponge to smooth and moisten surfaces

Edited by Rae Reich
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Walmart and Ace Hardware.  Basically anything you can get your hands on can be used in some way.  a spoon is a scraping tool, a burnishing tool, a mold and a good way to eat soup.  small saws can be used on raw clay and greenware, sandpaper, brillo pads, forks, spatulas, chop sticks, screw drivers, hammers, seriously, anything you can think of can be useful in working clay.

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3 hours ago, neilestrick said:

Your kitchen is full of great clay working tools.

Be sure to ask permission to have kitchen tools, though. Clay will dull the edges of tools that need to be sharp like peelers and graters. Knives, forks and spoons should be plastic, or orphans, because if you find something you love to use, you won't want to give it back. Thrift Stores are wonderful resources! 

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I've picked up a lot of good stuff from the thrift store (lots of fabric for canvas, kitchen tools for texturing and using as molds, cutters, rolling pins, it's fun to go there and just get ideas from what's available, and also Harbor Freight Tools (I've been using their $3 dental tool/carving set and some small files for a couple of years now.

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our local Ice cream parlor gives away large buckets regularly. good for glazes, water, etc.

When I had a residency on an estate in upstate NY, I mixed dry ingredients for clay, made a slurry, and put it in clay flower pots in the basement of a mansion where I was the caretaker. Pots from a former greenhouse were lined with cheesecloth and a piece of paper over the drainage hole. It took a few days for the clay to dry to a workable consistency. It was something I did everyday for a constant supply of clay. 



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