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tiles, paperclay, fire, partridge in pear tree

updated fri 22 jan 99


Lana Reeves on wed 20 jan 99

Hi, I've been wanting to write about a few things, so decided to do them all=
one e-mail.

Paper Clay
I took a workshop with Rosette Gault, it was a very good intro: lecture =26 =
then took another that was more hands on. I think it was good to have taken
both. I've been working with it ever since. I make my own. I find it's =
enough, so haven't tried the commerical product. It really does work=3B you=
attach dry pieces to each other, or wet to dry, green to bisque. Because =
clay doesn't shrink when it dries, you can make an armature out of paper =
let it dry, then build your sculpture without worrying about removing the
supports. I've been working with winged forms, and all of the above helped.=
haven't tried throwing with it, but I know people who do, and they say it =
well. The greenware is unbelievably strong. But the bisque is more fragile
than regular bisque, because the paper has burned out of it. Once glaze =
it seems to be the same as non-paper clay. If you want to know more about
making it, e-mail me.

Playing With Fire
I've been following this conversation. I, too, love to play with fire

The Great Tile Disaster of 1998
I decided to make tiles for the wall behind my stove, and the backsplash. I
decided that the glaze=5Bs=5D should be satin or glossy, and not have much =
to make them easier to clean. Did a lot of tests, finally chose Shino, on a
toast-golden-brown clay. Some tiles were just thicker or thinner dips. =
I gave 1 dip, then waxed part of the tile, =5Bor in a simple pattern=5D =26 =
dip. I was very happy when I opened the kiln=3B the different thicknesses =
glaze, plus variations in the kiln, gave a range of colors, plus some nice
carbon trapping. Then I noticed that one tile was shivering on the edges =
popping off leaving an ugly, cement gray place on the tile.=5D By the time=
unloaded, about 10=25 were shivering, so I threw them away. Within a few =
1/2 the tiles were doing this. Didn't dare put up the ones that hadn't =
cause they could do so in a month or a year, =26 then I'd have to pry them =
off the
wall. Got lots of advice, why was this happening? The clay, Sheffield =
contains spodumene. So does the glaze. Spodumene is a lithium compound. =
is Petalite.=5D Too much Lithium can cause this shivering. Why didn't the =
have the defect? Because the clay trolls decided it would be more fun to =
250+ tiles, I guess. Moral: Find a color you love, but also find out what =
ingredients are, and if you don't know enough about interactions, run it =
the glaze gurus. If I'd belonged to Clayart last summer, I would have saved=
lot of time, effort, and disappointment.

This is long enough, I'll write about fire another time, maybe. And the
partridge. If I told you what happened, you wouldn't believe it.

Lana in Somerville, MA