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paper clay / science for potters

updated thu 11 jul 02


Philip & Ingrid Vanneste-Vuylsteke on wed 10 jul 02

Thanks to all who replied on this.
I think it will help me a lot.

Made me realize: I don't have enough knowlegde on science and chemistry
in order to really understand what goes on when working with clay and

Russel Fouts recommended me the book "Ceramic Science for potters", but I
don't really find it.
Have searched on amazon and on several second hand book stores (even on
Anybody knows where I could find this book, or a good alternative ? (not too
technical ... but
readable by a non-scientist).

By the way ... my electric kiln was installed this evening ... looking
forward to my first own firing !



-----Oorspronkelijk bericht-----
Van: Ceramic Arts Discussion List
[mailto:CLAYART@LSV.CERAMICS.ORG]Namens iandol
Verzonden: dinsdag 9 juli 2002 8:20
Onderwerp: Re: paper clay

Dear Philip & Ingrid Vanneste-Vuylsteke,

If this paper is loaded with boric acid and Borax, aka Sodium Tetra borate
Deca Hydrate, it is a fireproof insulation. These chemicals are put into
insulation because they both discharge a lot of water vapour when heated.
This prevents air getting to the point of the source of the fire and helps
to smother the flames.

Boric acid turns into boric oxide and melts at something in the region of
400 Celsius. Borax fuses to a clear fluid at just over 800 Celsius. If you
keep on raising the temperature expect some sort of calamity since both
chemicals are strong solvent fluxes.

Best go back to ordinary paper or cotton linters or even toilet tissue to
overcome the problem.

Best regards,

Ivor Lewis. Redhill, South Australia

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