I'm helping figure out the logistics of a proposed large-scale ceramics project. One of the most important things we need to figure out is the clay body, which is where I'm hoping for input.
Was planning on simply making our standard studio clay body that we use for our large-scale sculptures. Usually items get up around 1" thick or slightly more, occasionally students get into the 2-3" range (like at bottom of large piece) and we usually once-fire to ^04 or to ^6 without any issues, or at least minimal problems that are usually due to construction methods.
6 Fire Clay (Lincoln)
2 Kaolin (Edwin)
1 Ball (OM#4)
1 Grog (20m Mulcoa)
The proposed project will be a very large, very thick slab-based piece, outdoor demonstration with public interaction. Original thoughts were to NOT fire this piece when finished due to size and thickness, but personally I'd like see if there is anything we can do to the clay body to make it possible to fire because I think it's going to turn out awesome and it would be a shame to put all this effort into making several tons of material, getting public interaction, and then not fire it and slake it all down
Immediate thoughts went to additions of either perlite or cellulose insulation to make the body more porous, in order to fire these solid pieces. Costs need to be kept to a minimum, so adding crushed IFB is not a possible solution. I know perlite will work very well for what we want to do, but question whether it will be cost effective when making 2-3 tons of clay. Paper clay made with cellulose insulation I have no idea - I tried it on a small scale, thin items, works great - but don't know how it would work on large scale like this with thickness getting into the 4-6" range.