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fwd:paperclay and the fire dept...

updated sat 16 may 98


DJFowkes on fri 15 may 98

Subj: F451,smoke and neighbors
Date: 98-05-13 23:50:12 EDT
From: (Rosette)
To: (Dawne Jenelle Fowkes)

HI Dawne, heres a note for the clayart community regarding that F451
question. The more poeple use paper clay the more oppinions there will
be...nvevertheless my many years experience is:
Did you remove the crumpled newspaper from your armature...., paper
clay or no paper clay, your kiln would have been at least double if not
triple smoky because of that. So thats the very first thing to check
for next time with the neighbors.. I suggest an alternate method below
for armature- one of many.
The smokiness of paper clay in the firing all depends on many
factors....The smoking period is early, similar to the wax burnoff
stage most are familiar with. The smoke inducing factors include a
balance of: 1. whether you have the kiln jam packed with only paper
clay and 2. whether it is "high pulp" paper clay ( your home made is
more than the amount in commercial P'Clay-which is what I would say
medium somehwere between 25-33% by volume) and 3. whether you have a
proper kiln vent. Orton "under the electric kiln " vent systems do the
job nicely, and other brand vents probably work well too. Alot of people
ask if the paaper clay smoke out hurts elements, but I understand that
so because the temperature is too low this does not occur or is red heat however if you put combustibles in an electric
kiln... for atmospheric carbolic acid to develops and eats away on the
elements...Paper inpaper clay is long gone by then.
To support your structures and build over, have you thought of using
bone dry paper clay structures-rolled up sheets of paper clay body
parts crimped in position makes and BONE DRY first is excellent and
strong support...and they are hollow too.When time to build just dip
your bone dry scraps and bits in water again, add p'slip and fresh
p'clay and go for it! .you should be able to force dry paper clay very
fast no worry about drying cracks, should be able to repair cracks or
reinforce weak or unsupported areas if you notice any. A great many
people don't really realize that they can take advantage of this unique
Perhaps you already know about the method: fill a bag with sand and
build over that..until at least leather hard, then drain the sand and
remove the empty support bag...leaves a good hollow area. Some even use
Some other people think that using metal armatures...makes sense....I
say beware of metal, the fumes from many burning metals ---now we are
talking really toxic!!! However some metals and paper clay do fire
together...but be careful, this is not for everyone. Theres a whole
"chicken wire school" of paper clay users, I call it....depends where
you are in the world
Another final cautionary to avoid any "recycled" building
insulation intended cellulose fiber newpprints fluffed in bags as a
paper source, Why is this? because they add fire retardants-boric acid
to the building materials and let me tell you these will smoke almost
indefinitely up to 1000F or more and fumes are toxic- One reason why the
fire dept haveto have gas masks!!!
Have you visited my web site?, there may be more
helps there?
Hope this helps...and if you have further questions plese send a note.