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Lately I've been useing paper clay for my sculptural work. I have a problem with the clay developing mold I've looked on various site and have gotten several responses. Bleach , lysol, pinesol, something called thysol . With all of them there seems to be either some contraindications or people say that's the way paper clay is (Organic contents). I don't go through a bag fast enough to keep up with the mold developing and I've heard the mold itself causes health problems. Lately I've been wondering if any has ever heard of mixing fiberglass fibers to clay for reinforcement or would that be toxic during firing. Any input would be welcomed. Thx

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Fiberglass was big in the 60s and 70s.

I still have some fibers in my studio and add it sometimes.

What kind of paper are you using to make your paper clay?

I make porcelain paper clay with paper linter fiber. I pour it onto plaster slabs and store it until I am ready to use it.

For my Raku paper clay, I usually mix a couple hundred pounds and roll out slabs immediately. Dry them and fire them.

For my terra cotta, I use the same linter fiber and sometimes take longer to use it.

It can mold. It doesn't seem too bad to me though.

 

I think someone on this forum mentioned putting some hydrogen peroxide into the mix.

Marcia

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I mixed my own terracotta paperclay and added bleach. (I read that you should do that).

I did not use it for a month or more, and when I opened the clay it was dark inside and rotten.

It smelled worse than a rotten drainpipe.

 

I decided it is not worth making my own. I can buy paperclay cheaply, and whatever they do in commercial mixes,

they know what they do and it lasts.

I have not started using it yet, but I will soon.

 

Some people seem to be (overly?) concerned about additives commercial mixes have to make it last,

some people don't like the smell of fumes it is suppose to give off when firing,

and it seems to me that some "traditionalists" or "purists" (?) just don't like it.

I would be interested to hear opinions and be corrected if I got the wrong impression.

 

I have heard that it is a fantastic medium for sculptural works.

You can add wet and dry parts, it is strong and lightweight.

 

I would like to know if it handles thermal stress better, e.g. Raku, rapid cooling/heating.

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I read if you make it with the "green" insulation from the hardware store they add borax and supposedly it wont rot, but then also your cone 10 clay is also only able to be fired to cone 6.

 

I bought some premade to try, it's very different to work with and it did begin to rot after a couple weeks, but its drier out here in so cal. Others say use in a week or less.

 

Some students have kept some dried out to re wet to use for repairs, but you need to use paper clay of the same type( shrink rate) of clay for repairs or it does not work so well ( details,details)...

 

It's very different to work with and the paper is good for some different effects and uses, but bad for trimming, if you prefer to throw.

 

http://www.paperclayart.com/150whatis.html

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I just love paperclay and make my own as needed so it never really gets a chance to mold. Generally I use one roll of toilet paper to about 1 kg of white earthenware clay.

 

I dont have any experience raku 'ing' it generally I low fire it to about 1000C. One quality that I find get is that you can still carve, shape or drill into it easily after it has been fired.

 

It definately drys well and reconstitues easily. T

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Lately I've been useing paper clay for my sculptural work. I have a problem with the clay developing mold I've looked on various site and have gotten several responses. Bleach , lysol, pinesol, something called thysol . With all of them there seems to be either some contraindications or people say that's the way paper clay is (Organic contents). I don't go through a bag fast enough to keep up with the mold developing and I've heard the mold itself causes health problems. Lately I've been wondering if any has ever heard of mixing fiberglass fibers to clay for reinforcement or would that be toxic during firing. Any input would be welcomed. Thx

 

 

It is quite subject to rot. If the batch isn't TOO nasty (your batch does sound pretty bad) you can add some 10% bleach solution to the bag, close it up, and try again the next day. Or wear a respirator when handling it. A lot of people mix up their paper pulp, drain it, and freeze in plastic bags. Then you can mix up only what you need. Daniel Rhodes had a section in the original version of Clay & Glazes for the Potter describing the use of fiberglass as an additive, but it's really been superseded by paper clay (as others in this thread have pointed out), and it apparently itches like crazy (think: insulation). You might want to check out Rosette Gault's web site, since she holds a patent on paper clay: http://www.paperclay.../150whatis.html

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I would not worry about a little green clay mold-It burns away and dies when dry. Mold in clay shows me its got goodness going on in it. I use mine to fast for mold to grow but have used green clay with no ill effects other than

wanting to work with clay 40 years.I thought that was from the cool aid?

mark

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I read if you make it with the "green" insulation from the hardware store they add borax and supposedly it wont rot, but then also your cone 10 clay is also only able to be fired to cone 6.

 

 

i was going to mention this to try. many people claim it won't rot if you use this blow-in cellulose attic insulation, but it'll still rot a tad if you give it time. be cautious of volume added since the borax WILL lower melting point of clay.

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I recently tossed almost 50 pounds of Laguna's paper clay. I bought it a couple of years ago (or three) and ended up having surgery instead of playing with the clay. When I revisited the box of clay, it was ripe with black mold and white tufts of fuzz. I'm used to seeing green mold on old clay and don't give it a second thought but the paper clay threw me.

 

I emailed Laguna and asked their advice. They told me that the mold that forms on a regular ceramic clay body is part of a natural aging process, but the paper clay mold is another story. They suggested tossing what I had and to use a respirator if handling it unwrapped. I hated to throw away money, but figured my health was more important. Maybe I should have written them again to ask if it is the linter fiber that causes the toxic mold.

 

When I took the Graham Hay/ Rosette Gault workshop, they both recommended making thin slabs of the clay; letting it dry; and storing it that way until needed. Wish I'd remembered that before surgery intervened.

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I work only with paper clay, I make my bucket of porcelain slip then I add cheap (the cheapest i can find) toilet paper. I blend it with boiling water and a hand mixer and had it to the slip, you can play about with the amount to add to the slip. I pour it over plaster bats to create paper thin sheets. I only make enough to do me for a few days. Also there is a supplier that makes flax paper clay and it had a chemical added to it to stop it forming mould. Also if i dry out my paper clay sheets they will last for years with out mould forming. (I had a lot of dried paper clay from uni and 3 years later it was perfect to use again). I hope this helps...good luck :)

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  • 1 month later...

I work only with paper clay, I make my bucket of porcelain slip then I add cheap (the cheapest i can find) toilet paper. I blend it with boiling water and a hand mixer and had it to the slip, you can play about with the amount to add to the slip. I pour it over plaster bats to create paper thin sheets. I only make enough to do me for a few days. Also there is a supplier that makes flax paper clay and it had a chemical added to it to stop it forming mould. Also if i dry out my paper clay sheets they will last for years with out mould forming. (I had a lot of dried paper clay from uni and 3 years later it was perfect to use again). I hope this helps...good luck :)

 

 

You said, "Also there is a supplier that makes flax paper clay and it had a chemical added to it to stop it forming mould." Could you reveal who that supplier might be? Thanks,

Rohrshack

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I like paper clay for sculpture work

It 's hard to cut clean in slabs but you can really get away with lots of things that non paper clay will not do like huge out hangs without support while drying

like the arms in this cone 10 salt piece of mine- one of my gate demon dog series.

Mark

 

gallery_8914_376_225812.jpg

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While I enjoyed paper clay properties for my sculptural work, I also hated it. It was amazingly forgiving as far as drying out and re constituting it with water. My biggest issue was the cracking. It didn't seem like it enjoyed being pushed to such a large scale (1:1 human figures). I also ran into the mold issue. Usually I just uncovered the work and let some sun hit it for a while. It seemed to work fine. Mold never bothered me much...it should, but I'm poor when it comes to safety practices in studios where I get spoiled with fancy ventilation and such :P

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