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sculpture bodies

updated thu 31 oct 96


Maggie McMahon on fri 4 oct 96

A while back there was a post about the problem of glazing a particular
sculpture body - it was comprised of clay, grog and cement. It sounded
pretty majical - it could be rasped and/or wet down for continued building
before firing. None of my sources mention this formula - or the type of
cement called for. (Sorry, all I can remember is that it started with the
letter F and my word association was fondu - I always make associations
which are food based.) I've got two students who want to work BIG and the
aforementioned body sounds VERY promising. I would appreciate any info or
direction to source of info. Thanks. Maggie

KEMPB on mon 7 oct 96

The original body was formulated by Greg Wain of Australia and was
Ciment Fondu (high alumina cement 1 part, Grog 2 parts, clay (in our case
stoneware) 3 parts. It really is a wonderful material and can be worked on
wet or dry and can be added to months later. We have fired pieces up to
12 inches thick but....we have been having problems getting glaze to stay
on the surface. When we glaze it looks great but in the firing it is sucked
into the body and almost disappears. I have an Honours student who is
doing research on various combinations and additives but in the
meanwhile you can get great finishes with waxes, acrylics etc..
|Greg used the technique of boxing and shuttering which is the method
used for concrete building forms. The mixture is made up fairly dry and
rammed into the boxing. My students use a core of newspaper or heavy
cardboard tubing and slap the stuff on to get the basic shape and then
model from there. It sets up in a few hours and then you can use rasps
and power tools to get the surface you want. We sometimes bisque fire
and then rub down with wet and dry paper to get a very smooth finish.
Meanwhile if we solve the glaze problem we will let you know
Brian Kemp. Singapore