Thursday, March 18, 2010

Micaceous Clay

I was able to try out two samples of micaceous clay while I was at the Paperclay Artist Symposium earlier this year (see earlier post).

Cynthia Dahlstrom (Greenville, Alabama) who was one of the guest presenters uses micaceous paperclay for her carved relief sculptures. She gets the mica clay from New Mexico Clay Company and then adds paper pulp to the clay.

Here's a direct link to her picture in front of her work taken at the Paperclay Artist Symposium.

One of the benefits of the paperclay version of the micaceous clay is that it reduces the warping and cracking on her rather large flat panels. Her work is intricately carved, sometimes as many as 5 layers deep, then painstakingly hand-burnished, pit fired and then smoked to achieve the colors and results she is looking for.

I enjoyed her presentation very much and found her to be a very personable artist with southern charm and humor. She even made mica clay fortune cookies for us to try our hands at hand-burnishing these little things. It was a lot of fun.

From the mica clay samples she gave out, I made these two small simple pinch forms (2.25"H x 3"W at the rim). They have been bisqued fired. Mica clay is a low fire clay so cone 06 is high as you would want to go to keep the burnished look.

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