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Isculpt

Easier Way To Make Paper Clay

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I have a tried-and-true method for making paper clay from dried scraps of regular clay: I place the scraps in a heavy bag (like a 20-lb dog food bag), lay the bag in my driveway and drive my car back and forth over it to crush the scraps into small pieces. Then I pour the bits into a bucket, add water and mushy cellulose, mix a few times and pour it out to dry. My method works fine with dry clay (although I'm open to easier methods!), but I'm trying to find a way to make paper clay out of wet clay fresh from the clay store. Someone suggested placing sheets of toilet paper between slices of wet clay and wedging it VERY well, but I don't have the hand strength to do that (hence the driving over the bag of dry scraps). Does anyone have a different method for turning wet clay into paper clay?

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Graham Hay has two videos showing how to mix paper clay, both using either dry clay or wet clay mixed with newspaper. Small portions are mixed in a food blender, poured out to get rid of extra moisture and then wedged. Try www.grahamhay.com.au If you have a blender you are willing to offer up to the clay gods.

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Graham Hay has two videos showing how to mix paper clay, both using either dry clay or wet clay mixed with newspaper. Small portions are mixed in a food blender, poured out to get rid of extra moisture and then wedged. Try www.grahamhay.com.au If you have a blender you are willing to offer up to the clay gods.

 

 

 

Thanks, Shirley. I did not imagine that you could throw chunks of wet clay into a bucket of water and after mixing, end up with slip. For some reason I thought drying the clay first was the way to go. I learned a few other things -- like the imporance of ensuring the paper was thoroughly pulverized. Thanks again. Jayne

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I have a tried-and-true method for making paper clay from dried scraps of regular clay: I place the scraps in a heavy bag (like a 20-lb dog food bag), lay the bag in my driveway and drive my car back and forth over it to crush the scraps into small pieces. Then I pour the bits into a bucket, add water and mushy cellulose, mix a few times and pour it out to dry. My method works fine with dry clay (although I'm open to easier methods!), but I'm trying to find a way to make paper clay out of wet clay fresh from the clay store. Someone suggested placing sheets of toilet paper between slices of wet clay and wedging it VERY well, but I don't have the hand strength to do that (hence the driving over the bag of dry scraps). Does anyone have a different method for turning wet clay into paper clay?

 

 

Hi lsculpt,

 

Your tried-and-true method of making paper clay from scratch is pretty much the standard "recipe." I have not used fresh clay from the bag to make my clay slip as it is very difficult and time consuming to get a nice, creamy consistency that way. The clay being completely saturated with water is very resistant to taking on more water so it remains in lumps. I guess with a high powered mixer one can force the wet clay into a slurry. The dry clay method I use ensures an even mixing with the paper pulp.

 

Whatever paper is used must be broken down completely into a pulp so wedging toilet paper into fresh clay DOES NOT work.

Here's the link to my blog when I was making Black Mountain paper clay for my own use.

 

Hope this helps

Anthony

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I use a food processor. Most thrift stores get them from time to time. I put the paper in to about 1/2 the height of the mixing bowl and some of the water and blend the paper till it look like a lumpy slip. Them I add the wet clay a bit at a time adding water as needed to keep the slip smooth. Till the bowl is about full. Can't say how much to use the bowls are different sizes. After its blended, pour it onto a large plaster bat or wedging table to dry it out a bit, wedge and have fun. It works well for just making slip too.

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I have a tried-and-true method for making paper clay from dried scraps of regular clay: I place the scraps in a heavy bag (like a 20-lb dog food bag), lay the bag in my driveway and drive my car back and forth over it to crush the scraps into small pieces. Then I pour the bits into a bucket, add water and mushy cellulose, mix a few times and pour it out to dry. My method works fine with dry clay (although I'm open to easier methods!), but I'm trying to find a way to make paper clay out of wet clay fresh from the clay store. Someone suggested placing sheets of toilet paper between slices of wet clay and wedging it VERY well, but I don't have the hand strength to do that (hence the driving over the bag of dry scraps). Does anyone have a different method for turning wet clay into paper clay?

 

 

Hi lsculpt,

 

Your tried-and-true method of making paper clay from scratch is pretty much the standard "recipe." I have not used fresh clay from the bag to make my clay slip as it is very difficult and time consuming to get a nice, creamy consistency that way. The clay being completely saturated with water is very resistant to taking on more water so it remains in lumps. I guess with a high powered mixer one can force the wet clay into a slurry. The dry clay method I use ensures an even mixing with the paper pulp.

 

Whatever paper is used must be broken down completely into a pulp so wedging toilet paper into fresh clay DOES NOT work.

Here's the link to my blog when I was making Black Mountain paper clay for my own use.

 

Hope this helps

Anthony

 

 

Thanks for the link and the information. I followed the link and spent quite a bit of time enjoying your images and blogs. Jayne

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I have a tried-and-true method for making paper clay from dried scraps of regular clay: I place the scraps in a heavy bag (like a 20-lb dog food bag), lay the bag in my driveway and drive my car back and forth over it to crush the scraps into small pieces. Then I pour the bits into a bucket, add water and mushy cellulose, mix a few times and pour it out to dry. My method works fine with dry clay (although I'm open to easier methods!), but I'm trying to find a way to make paper clay out of wet clay fresh from the clay store. Someone suggested placing sheets of toilet paper between slices of wet clay and wedging it VERY well, but I don't have the hand strength to do that (hence the driving over the bag of dry scraps). Does anyone have a different method for turning wet clay into paper clay?

 

 

I use scrap clay that I've thrown into a 5 gallon bucket and covered with water. When the bucket is about half full, I pour off the clear water at the top, and blend the clay with my drill which has a paint mixer-type blade on it. It makes a thick creamy smooth slip. In a second 5 gallon bucket, I put 1 roll of toilet paper without the center cardboard tube. I add about 3 gallons of warm/hot water and use the same drilll with mixing blade to blend the paper into the water. It takes about 5 minutes as the toilet paper is engineered to biodegrade easily. I pour this pulpy mixture into a large collander lined with cheesecloth or other coarsely woven cloth. This needs to be done over a 3rd 5 gallon bucket or a sink with a good strainer over the drain to catch extra pulp. Lightly squeeze the pulp and add it to the bucket of blended slip. I usually repeat the toilet paper pulping step to get about 30% paper ratio to the clay. The paper pulp and clay then need to be blended with the same drill until thoroughly mixed. It can be used this way as joining slip or as paper-mache in a bisque mold. It can be spread on a drying surface and wedged into soft clay for modeling and hand building. It can be thoroughly dried and stored as flat sheets for later use. Because the wet paper clay ferments in about a week and smells really bad, it needs to be stored in the dry form. It can be reconstituted by soaking overnight in warm water and re-blending. The dried sheets can be scored and broken into 'building strips' and joined with paper clay slip to build anything up to the size of your kiln. When firing the clay, I do a very slow bisque fire with a 1 to 2 hour soak at about 500 degrees to fully burn out the paper. I've read that cellulose fiber has a fire retardant added to it that gives off noxious fumes in the kiln.

Always interested in hearing other methods so I'll be glad to check out this forum!

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