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I work with a stoneware body for Raku.  I use a cone 10 body and sometimes a cone 5 body.  I add kyanite and grog.  Generally, I am hand building as opposed to slab building.  I like what I read about paper clay.  I see people dipping, pouring. slab building but not sure if it fits my approach.  I also like to use texture, and sometimes  fine detail.  

I like that paper adds strength.  What about plasticity?  I like that it can be used to patch cracks and possibly help mend breaks even on bisque ware.  Really? 

If I had a paper clay made from the same clay I raku with would it be possible to use that on green ware cracks prior to firing?  After first firing?  That alone would make it very interesting.

If both clay bodies share a parent body could I mix the two?  Knead them together?

Is there a paper clay designed for raku?

I was reading some of the articles with Jerry Bennett, he mentioned a fiber that is sometimes used with Raku, can not quiet remember what he called it.  I looked it up online might be in the hemp family.  Not sure. 

Very intrigued just not sure how to approach it.  

I can see how it would be beneficial for wall pieces. Less weight.  

I would appreciate feedback and insight on what might be possible.







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Paper pulp added to clay definitely adds green strength, and makes attaching a lot easier. It’s best used while the piece is still within the  normal working ranges of clay, but you can patch or repair bone dry or even bisqued pieces with some caveats. The clay body the pulp is mixed with may still be subject to some cosmetic hairline cracking if it shrinks a lot, eg porcelain. Any repairs are still subject to bad engineering. For instance reattaching 2 broken bisque pieces by smearing the surface with slip will still be a structurally weak bandaid to start with.  After the paper fibre burns out, you’re left with a slightly more friable version of the clay body you made the repair with. If you only need a cosmetic repair it’s fine, but not something to use where you need structural integrity.


You can make paper clay out of any commercial clay body by simply adding wet paper pulp to slurry in the amount desired. No, there are not specific recipes. I got taught to steal the tp from the bathrooms at college (it was the *finest* institutional single ply available), soak it in water and blend it up with a paint mixing bit. Wring out most of the water from the pulp, add no more than 20% by eyeball to a bucket of reclaim and mix thoroughly before drying.  I have added paper pulp to raku clay using this method, and it worked great for sculpting. You can get more refined with your clay and pulp choices if you want. I had access to cotton linters for paper making, and I found I preferred the longer fibre, but it wasn’t strictly necessary.

Re: Wedging paper pulp into pre-prepared clay: that’s going to be a non-starter. It won’t distribute evenly, and you’ll be there for days trying to make it happen. Even cut and slam doesn’t get you that far. If you’re making your own, you do need to make it via a slurry method and dry it out to your desired consistency. We used to pour a thin layer of slurry out on a plaster slab, and it’d be ready to use in an hour or 2.  You can either use the thin slabs since they’re handy at that point, or you can use it in the hand building method of your choice. 

As always with paper clay, it’s a good idea to add some of your favourite bacterial growth inhibitor, and either use the batch quickly, or dry it out in thin sheets and rewet when you want to work with it. The pulp begins to rot within the week, depending on how wet you’re keeping it. In addition to smelling like something died, the fibre gets less strong as it decays. 

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