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Isculpt

Member Since 03 Apr 2010
Offline Last Active Oct 17 2014 08:50 PM
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Topics I've Started

Help! Hand-Dug Clay Needs Additive For Strength

05 October 2014 - 10:14 AM

My husband recently dug clay from a clay hole that his tribe has used for years, and the clay vein was so smooth that the clay peeled off the walls of the clay hole.  He and other tribal members thought they'd found the best clay yet from that spot.  It's now been dried, screened, soaked and dried to workable consistency. It wedged up beautifully but they find that the clay has no strength!  A coil-built pot sags under its own early weight.  

 

His thought is to return to the clay hole and dig what he would consider poor clay, process it, and add it in.  But I wonder if anyone has a suggestion about an additive that would add significant strength without drastically changing the color of the clay, which is a deep brownish- grey color, which fires to a tan or yellow-brown.  This clay is slightly darker and more grey than the clay that is usually acquired from the hole, making us wonder what is missing.  The pots will be burnished, preheated to 500 degrees and fired on the ground in the traditional way. Any help is greatly appreciated, since the clay hole is inaccessible during hunting season, which has begun.  I've attached an image of a fired pot.  

 

Thanks, Jayne 


What Causes Smoke Patterns In A Foil Saggar?

29 August 2014 - 01:43 PM

This is probably obvious to everyone but me, but let's say I put a pot into a trashcan with sawdust and wood.  When the sawdust and wood burn, they create smoke which gets on the pot creating color/shadings.  If I wrap the pot in a foil saggar before putting it in the trashcan with the sawdust and wood, how does it get color/shadings?  Doesn't the saggar block the smoke?  I know I'm going to be embarrassed when someone points out something exceedingly obvious in this process that I should already know.....

 

And while we're on the subject, why do people use masking tape to make patterns on a pot that they're going to fire in a trashcan firing instead of using wax to block the smoke and create those patterns?

 

Jayne


How Best To Dry Reclaimed Dried Clay After It Has Been Processed Into Wet Clay

24 August 2014 - 10:07 AM

The humidity here is a solid 98% unless it's a 100%, so I'm having trouble getting reprocessed clay to dry into useable form.  I have two five-gallon buckets full of dry clay scraps and I want to turn it into paper clay. I don't mind the pulverizing, and then soaking the clay bits and adding wet shredded tissue paper, and then mixing it all with a mortar attachment on my drill -- but then trying to get it to dry is maddening. 

 

In the past, I've used 2x4 sheetrock slabs covered with cotton fabric (to keep the sheetrock paper from loosening and sticking to my clay).  I lay those on sawhorses set up on my back porch with a ceiling fan running constantly.  The clay is poured out and smoothed to about 3/8".  But then I spend a couple weeks trying to manuever past all those clay-covered sheetrock slabs on my porch while insects get stuck in the damp clay!  Is there a better way??  I read last week about pouring clay into an old pair of jeans, but I wasn't sure if that was serious or not!  I've read that people are now allowing homemade paperclay to dry into sheets for easier storing and then rehydrating and wedging as needed.  I don't see that EVER happening at this humidity level, but I'd be happy to be able to achieve workable clay in a reasonable amount of time. Bringing the sawhorses and clay into my studio is doable, but the humidity there isn't much better!  Any ideas???  

 

Jayne


Protecting Kiln Shelves From Runny Glazes

23 August 2014 - 11:18 PM

I read here on the forum that when different glazes are layered, they can become runnier than they would be if used alone.  I recently attended a little Amaco workshop where Potters Choice glazes were applied one atop another.  I have no experience with these glazes, other than on flat test tiles where only a few spilled over.  I've just gotten new shelves for my kiln and I wonder if simply applying the kiln wash that came with the kiln will protect the shelves, or should I make a flat clay "plate" to put my work on so that drips don't affect the shelves?

 

Jayne


Advice On Purchasing An Extruder

23 August 2014 - 11:10 PM

I have never used an extruder, but I've read about them and admired images of things made from them. I really dislike making coils -- I don't have the touch (or perhaps the patience) to make uniform ones.  So I'm thinking of buying an extruder for that purpose to start with, and eventually to actually make useful shapes - square tubes for small boxes or large tubes for the beginnings of human forms.  Any suggestions as to extruder size, manufacturer, material, and a basic set of dies?

 

thanks, Jayne