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I am interested in starting to use paper clay in my work. At this time I do alot of display work that is not intended for food use so I know it would not have a functional effect in that regard. I do, however, make a lot of mugs and drinking vessels as well as some functional platters at times and I'm curious if the paper clay would have an adverse effect on the functionality of using finished pieces for food use.

 

Anyone have any experience with this or advice?

 

Thank you in advance!!  :)

 

Debi 

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Paper clay is not recommended for functional ware.

It is more porous because of the tiny holes where the paper fibers burned out. So, there is concern that it absorbs more water in unglazed areas ... Like the bottoms of mugs or plates. The worry comes from someone taking their favorite mug from the dishwasher and popping it into the microwave ... The water would get very hot and this stress could cause breakage right then or over time.

Don't know if anyone has tested this though so this is only anecdotal.

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That's what I thought. I have a pug and wanted to mix it with that but didn't want the hassle of continuous cleaning. I guess I could knead my clay old school style for the functional ware since I do most of my work in the decorative pieces right now. I also wonder if I used some terra sigilata (sp?) on the bottoms if that would 'seal' them off. 

 

I thank you very much for your input!

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Some suggest to fire one cone above what your clay is rated at with paper clay.

I have had some success with this technique, getting absorption rates equal to the origonal clay body, but I have a list of tests yet to run, and lots of trips to the dishwasher and microwave to go.

 

My goal is for a functional sculptural piece where thick and thin clay play well together.

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you need to test a few things. First, according to some ideas, paper clay needs to go a cone hotter than the clay the paper was added to.

terra sig can seal but it would need to be tested because all clays that make terra sig will have various vitrification temperatures. 

 

I mix paper clay in slip made from my scrap. I wouldn't put it in my de-airing pug mill because it would clog the screen. I have a lot of porcelain paper clay sheets and I am ready to start some new ideas. No functional work. 

 

Marcia

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