Paper china clay
Ceramics is an activity with endless possibilities One of the latest tecnics I learned is to mix china casting clay clay with paper fibres.
Due to the fibres in the casting clay, the clay shrinks less and makes the piece more elastic. This way it makes it possible to dipp in organic objects, wich will burn in the kiln.
Dipping in gives a fast and nice result but you loose a lot of details. I decided to brush the clay on just one side of the leaves and flowers.
These door knobs are made out of china clay. Some on the pottery wheel and others casted in molds. The molds were realized with pieces made on the wheel previously. Working with molds make it easier to manufacture series. The knobs vary in size and color with a bolt inside to assemble them easily.
Like most ceramist I like to play with fire. To get a beautiful result with the smoked ceramic technique it is important to polish the piece in leather hard state (before it is totally dry). This is an intensive work but really benefits the gloss off the surface.
The pieces are fired first up to 980 /1020 ℃.
Next, they are coffered with ironwool and cloth before dipping them into a solution off water with sulfates. In a hole in the ground or in a oil barrel I prepare a layer of saw dust. The pieces are coffered with sawdust. Some small wood and pinecones are placed and lid on top.
Little by little the sawdust will burn. This can take up to a day. But then the exiting moment of opening the barrel or hole will come. The smoke in combination with the oxidation from the ironwool and sulfates give a surprisingly interesting result.
Once the soot has been washed and the piece has dried, I apply a wax to give the finishing touch and make the surface even shinier.
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