Friday, June 12, 2009

To Cook or Not to Cook

I've used a variety of organic materials with paperclay to create interesting textures. Some of the materials I've experimented with are cooked rice, rice husk, sawdust, and straw. The rice husk, sawdust and straw gives very subtle textures while the cooked rice gives a richer texture and more intense look.

One of the questions I get is whether to use raw rice or cooked rice. I've always used left over cooked rice since that is part of my staple.

Other people have used raw rice and have had their piece blow up, fall apart, or disintegrate during the bisque fire. Why?

Raw rice will pop and puff up like popcorn (it's essentially is puffed rice, like Rice Krispies) during the bisque fire and destroy your piece. Cooked rice will not do that as the outer shell of the rice has been forced open by the cooking process.

Cooked rice is wedged into my paperclay and then my pinch cups/bowls formed from this mixture. The picture shows a recently finished rice bowl - it's literally a rice bowl because of the inclusion. The outside is stained with Iron and Manganese Dioxide. The inside glaze is Celadon. Fired to Cone 10 reduction.


Kitoi said...

I've used raw rice you just have to soak it for an hour prior to use. Cooked works best though.

Anthony Foo said...

Hello Kitoi

Thank you for your input. Good to know that is working well for you. I have to try your method and see how it turns out.

Kitoi said...

After stumbling upon your blog and reading your results with paperclay, I purchased 50lb to try. Wow! made my slab building so much easier! By letting the clay bone dry before assembling the pots are square unlike anything previously put together. Now I want to try and make my own Pclay.

Anthony Foo said...

HI Kitoi,
Am glad you are finding the blog useful. I like the succulents you are growing and the shape of the pots you have created.
What paperclay did you purchase?

Kitoi said...

This is the result of using raw rice

The Pclay purchased was ivory from IMCO in Sacramento and Toki sculpture a house brand from Leslie's Ceramics in Berkeley. The toki is a groggy clay while the ivory is smooth and both being high fire. I've only bisque fired the toki so far and will do a ^10 oxidation (electric) fire on Sunday. Will post my results

I want to make Pclay out cassius or black mountain, love the dark bodies!

Linda Starr said...

wow, I just stumbled upon this blog from Chris' blog. I want to try adding some rice hulls to some pieces now. I had it on hand from my barrel firings.

and like Kitoi I have always wanted to try paperclay since I handbuild - and hopefully some paperclay with Black Mountain or Cassius as I too love the dark clays.

thanks so much for the info; I'll add your blog to my blogroll.

Anthony Foo said...

Hi Linda,

Am glad you are finding this useful. I've used rice husk/hulls in my paperclay. The texture I find is very delicate and subtle and easily covered up with any kind of glaze. An oxide stain/wash works well to keep the details.