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Less Direct Pressure When Joining Textured Sections

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In handbuilding, I’m joining decorative stamped clay sections together and need to apply softer/less direct pressure to the leather hard surfaces. Was thinking of possibly implementing a small bag of sand or flour/baking soda (to avoid flattening out the stamped surfaces with direct finger pressure). Ideas? Does such a tool exist commercially? Thanks!

Edited by Ben xyz
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I’ve seen pounces made for assorted paper or fibre art forms, but they’re usually spendy versions of the thing you cobble together out of materials on hand. 

I’ve also seen a lot of hand builders like Sarah Pike use pony rollers to join textured soft slabs. You can get them at most ceramic suppliers for about the $12-14 range.

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Answer to this really depends on what and how your are joining the slabs. I have made flat panels of multiple slabs by simply starting from the top down. Put your pieces upside down and lay the lower pieces over top with magic water or slip between them, press lightly rubbing over the pieces as you put them together. This way the texture will have minimal softening.

However, If you are assembling something standing, Join pieces with the same types of binder and then add in some thin coils on inside edges blended into the join. This technique can be used to build interesting freeform towers or containers that have much texture, but I always remember to leave "rest areas" of untextured slabs.





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I agree with @Pres, it depends. Maybe letting things stiffen a bit and/or using magic water is a more effective way to keep the texture intact. If anyone knows about hand building with impressed decoration it’s Vince Pitelka. He’s generously posted a lot of his teaching materials on his website in the “Documents and Handouts” section.




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If you can still impress your clay with finger marks, it isn’t really leather-hard. Perhaps letting the slabs get a little more firm would help.
@Pres’ suggestion of designing transition areas into your piece will allow joining to be integral, making the necessary into a feature. 
Sometimes, trying to make clay behave and look like not-clay isn’t worth the trouble - like trying to make a dress without the seams showing when seaming is part of the craft.

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