Last week I wrote about how I fell off the one craft only wagon and purchased a bunch of ceramic molds. I am very excited about their arrival and I wanted to share some of my adventures so far. I have about 10 40 pound bags of stoneware slip, which I purchased my first year teaching (1998). My dad found me a kiln and a cache of doll molds in 2000 and I poured a bunch of baby doll heads and photographed them with a pinhole camera. The images are creepy, surreal, I love them. Some of the heads are porcelain, some are stoneware. My focus shifted for 8 years with the arrival of one and then another real life baby.
Last week, I decided I wanted to try to make paper clay slip and pour some funky retro molds from my childhood, so I went off to ebay and now owls and Christmas trees are winging their way here as I write. In the meantime I dusted off the old doll molds and throw caution to the wind.
Paper Clay is any ceramic clay with cellulose added, there are a bunch of ways to make it and a couple of good books out there but I did not want to dry the clay and hand build with it. I just wanted to pour it into molds and create lighter more durable ceramic casts. Here is a pdf created by Judy Nelson-Moore that highlights the advantages of paperclay
To make my paper clay
- Use the Hollander beater to grind up my junk mail and create recycled paper pulp
- Drain the pulverized paper pulp for a couple of days
- Add the paper pulp to the existing slip
- Wait until the following day to mix the slip with my whiz bang drill mixer
- Add a bit more water to create the correct flow of slip
- Poured it into a couple of my doll molds
Stay tuned. I will be loading the kiln Monday.