Working With FiberClays

Sheepdog White Earthenware with Fiber 04

Sheepdog lowfire earthenware with fiber, our version of paper clay! Our fiber doesn't rot, and will fit most commercial glazes. These clays are a Low fire sculptural body that fits commercial glazes when Bisqued to 04. The glazes should be fired to cone 06. It contains 5% fine white sand and our superfine nylon fiber.

Why Fiber Clay?

Mixing fiber into clay gives the clay many new and exciting properties. You can allow the clay to dry out and then make attachments, adding bone dry to bone dry. You can build sculptures that would be impossible with plain clay.

Because these fibers cling to, rather than absorb, water they better promote the movement of the water through the mix.  Fibers such as cellulose or "paper fibers" are actually less desirable because the water they absorb does not move any further; only once the individual fiber has absorbed all the water it can hold does the remaining water move on through the mix. This may be why Nylon has proven to be an acceptable choice for fibered clay; it is slightly absorbent, but not exceptionally so.

 Another point about the cellulose fibers is that they swell when wet. This means as the fibers dry, they will shrink and leave voids in the clay, creating weakness and the potential for cracking. On the other hand, nylon fibers will promote crack resistance and strengthen the mix.

How to work with Fiberclay

If you work in fiber clay and don't change the way you work, you are not taking advantage of the clay. The advantages are that you can build your sculpture in parts, let them dry, as my friend Graham Hay says "Bone Dry”. This means you don't need an armature to build large pieces.

Attachments: Make a slip out of the clay, the easy way is to make a bunch of "potato chips" and let them dry. Then when you add them to water they will dissolve quickly.

To attach dry to dry, slather both sides with slip, roll out a thin rope of clay dip it in the slip, this is the "denture cream" that fills in any gaps. Push the pieces together and hold till you feel it grab!


 

 

You don’t have to fire!

Many people are building sculptures using armatures made of wood or rebar. You can keep adding on to your sculpture until you are happy with the result then finish with Acrylic Paint, Artzee Sealers* or Powertex products* or we have Aleens Fabric Stiffener.

How to fire Fiber Clay

Fiber clay is easy to fire as it is very forgiving, EXCEPT! There will be smoke and bad smells up to 900 degrees F.
I suggest you fire in a well ventilated space, leave the lid propped open a couple inches and leave the bottom peephole open. The idea is to allow the fiber to burn out (oxygen is needed for this). Fire like this until the smoke stops and then close the lid. At some point your pieces will be black, this is normal. The carbon will burn off as it reacts with the oxygen to burn.
 Panicking and turning off the kiln will not help.

Taxidermy Clay self hardening with fiber.

Introducing Taxidermy Clay from New Mexico Clay

Taxidermy Clay is great for models over an armature; sculpt it, even 2 inches thick it will not crack. It will stick to almost anything even glass. Contains a non-toxic waterproof glue. Dries hard, paintable, not-toxic and not water proof.

This clay works great for assembled sculpture, make all the parts and let them dry, all the way, then; paint a slip (made of Taxidermy Clay) on both surfaces to be joined. Roll out a thin coil of Taxidermy Clay (to act as denture cream) Paint all surfaces including the coil press together and hold.  Our fiber doesn't rot.

Taxidermist sculpts the muscles, eye sockets, ear bases out of this clay. Smearing the clay on a foam armature that approximates the animal whose skin they have. Then they pull the skin over the armature for a lifelike natural look.

 

https://sculptedanimations.com/artzeeliquidsealer/

https://www.powertexcreations.com/

https://nmclay.com/clayhardener-fabric-stiffener-and-draping-liquid-8oz

Working With FiberClays

Low-Fire Casting Slip, White in 1 Gallon Jar

$10.46 Per Gallon in wide mouth Jar
  • Liquid Bright Gold 11% 25 Grams

    $343.13

    Liquid Bright Gold 11%
    25 Grams PREMIUM!

    25 grams of 11% Liquid Bright gold. Equal to 12.5 little bottles of gold luster.

    Same quality and performance as Duncan OG805 and the old Hanovia N gold.

    Made in Japan.

    Price depends on the cost of gold, exchange rate of Yen to $ and shipping costs.

    Other qualities and colors available, call to discuss your needs.

  • China Paint Set

    $21.98

    Concentrated Color Ceramic Overglaze Paints

    On a previously fired glaze surface paint as you would watercolors.

    Clean up with water. Fire to cone 017 1400F

    Includes 4 strips of 6-colors 

    Concentrated on-glaze color pigments, firing temperature 750-850 degrees C

    No grinding required, just apply with a brush or pen

    Open the cover to use, can be used for DIY ceramic painting.

    Most China 


  • WLO-W WHITE EARTHENWARE (04) with slight texture

    $0.74 Per Pound As low as: $0.52 Per Pound

    WLO-W White Low fire  clay With slight texture (04) 25 lbs.

    Sold in 25lb increments. Is a smooth white clay with added fireclay and temper. 

    The clay is smooth, softer and because it has a little texture easier to work with . It looks like porcelain in the bag and after throwing it has just a hint of texture.

    It is our most popular clay with schools and teachers because it is very soft and easy to use. It is excellent for all types of modeling projects and compatible with all MAYCO glazes.

                                           FIRE TO CONE 04 BISQUE, O6 GLAZE FOR BEST RESULTS.

    Now with Hydrated Magnesium Silicate !

  • Giffin Grip Mini

    $179.00

    Giffin Grip Mini

    The Giffin Grip Mini is a re-centering tool for potters. 

    Designed specifically for trimming, it works equally well for waxing the foot or banding.
    After a simple one time adjustment, the Giffin Grip quickly snaps on and off  your wheel.

    Features

    • Centers and holds your pots with ease
    • Fits all standard wheel sizes, Does fit the new Shimpo Aspire™
    • Is assembled
    • Ergonomically shaped hands gently hold your pot in place
    • Works for many functions in addition to trimming, including waxing the foot & banding with oxides

    Box Includes:

    • lengths of rods with hands
    • Sliders
    • Sliders

    works both ways