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paperclay and function results

updated sun 31 aug 97


Liz Willoughby on fri 22 aug 97

A while back I said that I was going to do some tests on the sandstone
paperclay made at Tuckers. This claybody is actually made for sculpture,
but I was curious to know how it would work regarding thermal shock for
oven use, and for use in the microwave. Since I wouldn't be firing my own
kiln for a while, Ron Roy very generously fired these mugs for me in his
kiln (C 10R).

I decided to just make mugs.

It threw much easier than I expected. Used very little water. Cutting it
off the wheel was difficult, snagging on the wire.(throwing on plaster bats
would help). Smoothing the rim took more care too, because of the paper
fibres. But it held shape well without sagging, as my mugs have motion and
rhythm to the walls. It was easy to throw thin. There was a texture (like a
heavy rice paper) on the clay.

Next day, they were still quite damp, but I managed to "try" to trim and
smooth the bottoms, the tool kept snagging. Decided to carry on and put on
handles, my method of pulling a stubby handle, attaching to the wall, and
pulling the handle on the mug. Mugs still very damp, and handles wet, I
put them right in the electric kiln for bisque.

Next day they came through with flying colours. No cracking at the handle
join or anywhere else. Glazed 2 in shino, 2 in tenmoku, and 1 in V & O

After the glaze firing, they shrunk more than sandstone without the paper.
The tenmoku and clear glaze covered the texture well, looked very smooth.
The shino was less attractive, but there was a thinner application of
glaze, and the texture on the clay could be seen.

I put water in two mugs and put them in the oven for 2 hours at 350. Then I
poured ice water into them. O.K. Put one in the freezer for 2 hours,
poured boiling water in them, O.K. Put cold water in one, put it in the
microwave on high for 2 minutes. O.K. Put water in one and left it
overnight on the counter, and there was a wee bit of condensation on the
table this morning.

So, for attachments it's great. Doesn't look so good if the glaze
application isn't thick enough, but I think it might work for function. Oh
yes, they are LIGHT in weight. My methods for testing aren't terribly
scientic, but I thought encouraging. Ron will probably be adding more! (or
better) scientific results.

Think I'll try a teapot next. Sure is different than that porcelain I
normally use.

So that's it for now. Liz

Liz Willoughby
R.R. 1
Grafton, Ontario
K0K 2G0

Leslie Ihde on tue 26 aug 97

Liz- THank you for your detailed report on paperclay. I am actually
involved in making a paperclay fountain. Haven't finished it yet, so no
Vestal NY