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Porcelain Paper Clay In Engobe - Yay Or Nay ?

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EDIT 2 : January 2016 - I've tested the porcelain-paper-clay-based engobes, and I haven't noticed any difference. Even with regards to sgraffito, there's no difference that I can see. Thank you all for your input :)


EDIT 1 : November 2015 - The answer seems to be "yes, of course it's possible". I'll update the message again once I've tried it for myself.


posted November 2015


Hi !


*Background information :*


I use an expensive porcelain, and generally go to great lengths to reclaim every scraps. I throw my pots on the wheel, and decorate my pots with home-made engobes that I formulate on the basis of a slip made from the same porcelain body, to which I add various pigments/stains/oxides etc. I usually use a commercial glaze, glossy transparent, and electric-fire between 1280°c and 1320°c (which converts to cone 9-10 ?).


Last year, for the first time, I prepared a batch of paper-clay using the same porcelain body I usually use. After playing with it, I was left with a pile of bone-dry paper-clay. I crushed it, added water to slip consistency, sieved it through 80 mesh, and stored it in a bucket for 18 months.


I'm now left with 30 liters (8 gallons ?) of porcelain-paper-clay slip that I'd like to use in some way. Hopefully as basis for engobe, because I need big quantities of it, and always find myself running short. But I'm concerned about the presence of paper fibers in the mix. Could it significantly affect the bonding between the slip and the pots during the drying process ? during the 1st firing ? Could it affect the texture of the surface of the pots ? Could it affect the color ? Could it cause significant issues with regards to the glazing ?


*Question :*


Can I use this porcelain-paper-clay slip without further a-do as a basis for engobe, as I usually do with "normal" porcelain slip ? If yes, great !

If no, what do you advise ? Is there something I could do to make this slip usable as a basis for engobe ?


I'd be very thankful for your advice, if you had experience with this.




Disclaimer 1 : I've been working with clay for only 5 years, with my own studio for 6 months. I try to experiment as much as possible, but now that I have my own studio, I often feel too caught in the production process (to be able to live and pay rent !) to go as thoroughly and systematically as I'd like in the trial-and-error approach.


Disclaimer 2 : English isn't my 1st language. I hope I managed to explain my process/problem clearly enough !

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just thinking logically, if you have run it through an 80 mesh sieve, what could possibly be bigger than that?  if it has nothing bigger, how could some texture be left in it to make any difference on the surface?


as far as sticking to the pots while in the making process through firing, it is the same clay body and the paper is gone.  why worry?????

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Joel is correct about the texture and better bonding. The engobe will be slightly more porous because of the paper. If you work sculpturally this is probably not an issue at all. If you make functional ware, I'd still make a test for glaze fit. There is *maybe* a possibility of the colourants not dispersing as smoothly with the paper already in the slip, especially for oxides like iron and cobalt that benefit from screening. A small test like this now will save time and materials if it doesn't work.

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