Monday, 27 September 2010

Paper Clay

As promised, here is my review of paper clay - so called because a percentage of it is paper or some other combustible material, so that after firing the piece made with it should be lighter in weight. I've also heard that it is supposed to add strength to the piece while building, and can be repaired or added to even in it's dry state.

The first thing I noticed is it's strange texture. It feels spongey, and it does actually feel lighter than clay even when wet. It's very clean and easy to use, and it doesn't even smell like clay, which I missed. I think it probably was a little stronger while building and held it's own weight quite well, but I still had to leave it to set a little every now and then. The only two negative things were the smell and the fact that it dried my hands out much more than ordinary clay. It didn't smell bad, it just didn't smell like clay.

And here is the finished piece. I'll have a better idea about weight once it is fired and glazed.

And no, I'm not tired of making swans yet! This one is a bit bigger than my first swan, and measures at about 17 inches long, 9 1/2 inches high, and 7 inches wide.

In other news:
I have sent off my applications for my upcoming shows and have had a postcard printed to advertise them! Unfortunately I forgot to put the date of one of the shows on the postcard!!

Apart from that it's just go go go, getting ready for the shows!

Kathy asked me, did I ever dream of this? Well no, I didn't, and I don't suppose the man who interviewed me at the college did either! Hahahaha! Oh how I wish I knew what his name was and how to contact him!

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Some updates

Hello blogging friends! Oh dear, what a naughty blogger I've been! I haven't updated for ages! To be honest it's just so easy to write a quick (one sentence) update on FaceBook and upload a photo and forget about the blog. But for those of you who have more sense than to use that (addictive) service, here is an update!

It was so wet during August! You may recall I had 4 vases in the process of being made all at the same time, and I was struggling to get them to set. For those of you who have been wondering, the hair dryer worked very well!

It took quite a while, but I finally got the vases finished!

The one on the right is for my sister inlaw and will be glazed red. The one on the left I have carved an ivy design and I intend to do an iron oxide wash on it once it has been fired. I will try to remember to take photos of the process!

The other two vases took longer to finish as my Mum took very ill and I didn't get any clay time for a while. I'm glad to say she is much better now and is giving up smoking!! These ones have the Marianne design slip inlayed on them, and since this photo was taken I have also added some fancy little handles either side of the neck.

These two came out much smoother because before I had finished them I invested in a whirler! (A whirler is a round stand that spins round, although it's not powered like a potters wheel is) So I was able to spin the vase round and use the steel kidney/scraper on the side to get a more even finish.

I also bought some other essential items - some 12" shelf props, and an angle grinder to try to clean these shelves up! I shall need to do that soon because I'm loading the kiln as I go (which is why I have no photgraph of the vases with their handles on!) I'm running out of surface space, and I don't want anything to get damaged, so I put the vases straight in the kiln when they were finished.

This week I have started a project using paper clay! More about that next post!