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how to do paper clay.

updated sun 19 jul 98


wallace myers on thu 16 jul 98

Hi Mud Daubers:
Would someone please tell me how to mix paper clay?
Thanks, Wallace

clay&maxwell on fri 17 jul 98

Hi Wallace
I recently whipped up a batch of paperclay. I used a commercial dry clay
(low fire but I think you can use any clay body) and "watered" it to kind
of a yogurt or sour cream consistency. I used a mixer thingy attached to a
drill - (is there a proper name for this?) I used cotton linter bought at
an art store to make the paper pulp on the first batch and toilet paper for
the second batch :)_
I added hot water to the shredded cotton linter and soaked it over night in
a big ice cream pail (the big commercial kind). The next day I used the
drill-mixer to get the paper to break down. You have to test it with your
hand and see if it is breaking up into fibres - you don't want big lumps.
When the pulp was pulpy enough I put a yard stick in the clay and used this
as a measure to figure out the percent of pulp to add. For example if you
want 20% pulp and the clay measures to a depth of 10 inches then you would
add 2 inches of pulp. Since the pulp is floating in water you have to
"drain" it by scooping up buckets of the stuff and pouring it through a
kitchen type mesh strainer. I kind of flip the pulp around to get a lot of
the water out and then scoop it out with my hand and lay it on top of the
clay until I build up to the inches required. It's not a totally accurate
way to go but it worked for me! I mixed it all up with my handy
husband-made drill/mixer and then poured it onto plaster slabs to firm it
up. I also stained some batches of clay body with mason stains. I thought
they were kind of dull looking until I remembered that a clear glaze or
even an oiling or waxing would bring out the color.
In yesterday's post "paperclay update" I talked about the firing of my
pieces. I really enjoyed the strength and different "qualities" of the
paperclay. Check out the paperclay website
good luck
Deb Clay
(if you have any questions or comments you'll have to be quick! I leave
for Australia next week and am going to "no mail" on Sunday)

At 10:18 PM 7/16/98 EDT, you wrote:
>----------------------------Original message----------------------------
>Hi Mud Daubers:
> Would someone please tell me how to mix paper clay?
>Thanks, Wallace

Richard Burkett on sat 18 jul 98


At 01:21 PM 7/17/98 EDT, you wrote:
>of a yogurt or sour cream consistency. I used a mixer thingy attached to a
>drill - (is there a proper name for this?)

"drill" You can get fancy and call it a power drill if you want to impress

the mixer thingy is the infamous jiffy mixer type thingy people have been
debating for the last week or so

in a Friday mood

_ Richard Burkett, Associate Professor of Art
_ School of Art, Design & Art History, SDSU, San Diego, CA 92182-4805
_ E-mail: - Phone: (619) 594-6201
_ School of Art URL: