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Lesson Plans


Re: ceramics

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
L.P. Skeen (lpskeen@living-tree.net)
Sun, 29 Aug 1999 00:28:51 -0400


Deb Sterner wrote:

> Has anyone ever worked with porcelain? I have about 400 pounds,
> through donation, and I can't figure out what to do with it. It does
> not act like the regular clay I buy. It seems to "rubbery" and
> "fluid" so that hand building methods don't seem to work.

Deb,
I am a potter. That said, let me tell you that porcelain is not good
for handbuilding large things. You have already figured this out, no?
It is also not a good clay for beginning throwers, because it has no
tooth - and it'll fall on you in a heartbeat. It is "rubbery and fluid"
because of the particle size. It has no fireclay to give it "backbone".

I have 3 suggestions (so far....I'm still thinking!)

1. Take the porcelain and wedge it together w/ the other clay that you
buy. This will introduce some tooth and standing strength.

2. Buy a bag of dry 28 mesh fireclay and wedge it into the porcelain.
This would be REALLY easier if you had a pugmill.

3. If you recycle your clay, alternate slabs of the porcelain in the
bucket w/ the other clay.

Ok, just thought of another one. Do you know what cone the clay fires
to? I'd try to get a clay supplier to trade out. Are there boxes that
say who made the clay? Some common suppliers are: Laguna, Standard,
Highwater, and Kickwheel.

Lemme know how you do w/ the porcelain. It can be really beautiful when
thin, but otherwise, it's just heavy white clay. Try this: get a bag
of rice. Roll out some really thin slabs (<1/4") and shape into pots or
pinch pots really thin. Press rice into the sides of bowl, but not
THROUGH the clay. After firing, there will be rice-shaped indentions in
the clay where the light shines thru. VERRRRY cool.

--
Lisa Skeen          ICQ#15554910
http://www.living-tree.net

Living Tree Pottery & Soaps, Summerfield, NC

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