Jump to content


Paper Clay For Throwing?

  • Please log in to reply
4 replies to this topic

#1 yarddog



  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 24 posts

Posted 26 March 2014 - 05:11 PM

Anyone had experience throwing with paper clay? Perhaps someone could save me the trouble and mess of mixing up a batch to experiment with?
Also, am I correct that the shrinkage rate of the clay body would be unchanged by the addition of paper fibers/dust?

#2 Colby Charpentier

Colby Charpentier

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 213 posts
  • LocationProvidence, RI

Posted 26 March 2014 - 06:03 PM

I see paper clay as an option to avoid green strength issues under very specific circumstances. It tends to create issues with plasticity and movement that would likely be unfavorable for throwing. The shrinkage of the body would only be effected in cases of large amounts of fiber additions. The materials would act the same, but the aggregate would reduce the relative amount of clay shrinking.


What type of item are you making that you anticipate needing to throw paperclay?

#3 Chris Campbell

Chris Campbell

    clay stained since 1988

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3,144 posts
  • LocationRaleigh, NC

Posted 26 March 2014 - 07:33 PM

As I remember it is difficult to get home made paper clay to the proper consistency for throwing. You might be better off with a commercial one.
There are downsides to functional wares being made with paper clay. The burnt out fibers leave more holes for water to get in even after glazing. Concerns range from seepage to problems with 'dishwasher to microwave' type heating.
Chris Campbell Pottery
Contemporary Fine Colored Porcelain


" If a sufficient number of people are different, no one has to be normal "

Fredrick Bachman

#4 Marcia Selsor

Marcia Selsor

    Professor Emerita, MSU-Billings

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 6,616 posts
  • LocationRed Lodge, Montana

Posted 26 March 2014 - 08:10 PM

If you are making some paper clay for throwing, work the body into a slip. Then add the pulp which should be beaten well and without lumps. I think it was TJR who used toilet paper pulp in his porcelain. I have linter sheets and also cellulose blow-in insulation. I think the shrinkage rate may be reduced somewhat, but what is your objective. Paperclay is a wonder for hand building.No so much advantage for throwing and may actually be a hindrance.It is recommended to fire paper clay a cone higher to mature the clay body.If you are using a specific cone and glazes, this could resent problems.

Marcia Selsor, Professor Emerita,Montana State University-Billings

#5 Mug


    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 283 posts
  • LocationNorth Eastern Ohio

Posted 27 March 2014 - 08:23 AM

I have been doing some testing on paper clay. One thing I have noticed after mixing a fresh batch it works better for me the same day or the next day, after that it gets a bit wonky on the wheel, but is still good for hand building.

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users