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Old 12-27-2006, 10:25 AM
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Artbynan Artbynan is offline
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Can I fix the clay?


Hi,
I have done a few pieces of water based clay for a class.
I made a human head but, the clay dry to the bone that it broke into many pieces beyond repair. The teacher said that it has to be the weather.
I was thinking if there is a way I can fix the clay or should I trash it.
I prefer to try to fix it If I can since, it was expensive here in Oman.
Thanks for any tips or sugestions,

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Old 12-27-2006, 01:28 PM
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Sheila M Sheila M is offline
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Re: Can I fix the clay?

Well, no...I think you should remake it or
Fire it and glue it and grout it together.
Make it a puzzle-ish thang...that could make an interesting piece?
Can you place it together and fire it so it shrinks together?
It depends on what look you want.
It got dry because you let it. Did you leave it out?
I always put wet news paper on my work then plastic.
Use a spray bottle.
good luck! clay s not very forgiving...
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Old 12-27-2006, 02:25 PM
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Andi @ Cirrutopia Andi @ Cirrutopia is offline
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Re: Can I fix the clay?

Hmmmm... I've had some luck with bone-dry pieces. Wrap it in damp paper towels and keep it in a plastic bag without any extra air. It's not fool-proof, but it might help restore enough moisture into the clay so that you can put it back together, especially if the breaks were clean.

I've also had some success with... well, I've had school projects with fast-approaching deadlines dry out too much, and I get a small plastic tote. I fill the bottom with crumpled up damp (squeeze out extra moisture) paper towels. Then I wrap my piece in damp paper towels, and place it inside. I find a wash cloth that will fit over the top of the container, wet that, and squeeze out the extra moisture. Then I lay that over the top of the plastic container and check on it in about twelve hours... often, that's enough to get it wet enough.

Be careful, though... rewetting too many times/too quickly will diminish the elasticity of your clay...

Best of luck to you!
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Old 12-27-2006, 02:30 PM
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Re: Can I fix the clay?

If the clay is not salvagable by firing and glueing like suggested. Then put in plastice bag and add water(enough to just to drench the clay but not standing deep in water) and let it set. Test it in a couple days to see if it is pliable. Re knead very well. Make sure all the lumps and air pockets are out.

When drying, wrap a plastic bag around it and let it harden naturally. It will have to be bone dry to fire. Any moisture will make it explode in the kiln.

Marilyn
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Old 12-27-2006, 04:14 PM
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Andi @ Cirrutopia Andi @ Cirrutopia is offline
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Re: Can I fix the clay?

Quote:
Originally Posted by marilyn h
If the clay is not salvagable by firing and glueing like suggested...

Might be interesting to try what was suggested or something like it.

Fire the pieces as-is. They will probably warp a little. Maybe not. Chances are, once fired, they won't fit together perfectly. Buy some grout or try milliput (very fun) to put it back together, allowing the cracks and "imperfections" to become part of the work. Could be interesting.

I know how frustrating it can be when something like this happens. In my school's ceramic studio, we all have to watch out for each other's work; often, somebody else will bump my work. Recently, one other kid flattened one side of a vase I'd made by pressing up against it. It was sort of disappointing, but I ended up flattening three more sides so that it became rectangular. I gave it a neat texture, and I think it'll be a nice Christmas gift to someone. Accidents happen, but in art (or at least in pottery) they're often really fun ways to try new things... things we might be hesitant to try otherwise.
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Old 12-28-2006, 12:36 AM
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Re: Can I fix the clay?

Hi,
Thanks so much for all you sugestions!!!
The sculpture was ruined as it dry to the bone. I know that it need to be very dry to be able to fire.
I couldn't even transfered it to the kiln becuasue the clay just crumbled in so many lilttle pieces.
It was my second class so, I know about handling the clay but this time it just wouldn't work.
I built my sculpture head. I was keeping it wrap and wet. I know that the weather here can affect i t so, I have here always wet , wrap and in a seal plastic bag.
The whole thing was working out fine until the teacher told me to hollow it out so, it could be fire.
The day I was going to take her to a lady who was going to kiln it, I saw my sculpture head in shock as a big crack grew from her forehead all the way to the chin. The whole thing just fall apart and after that!! I thoought I could put her back again because I keep putting her together and another cracks will showed. I decided to wet her completely and rebuilt her but, that didn't work.
For my project, I rebuilt her face as much as i could and I use her wings. She started as a "butterfly girl" and end up as a "Broken Dream"
My question to you is that I have more of that clay, I was wondering if I could fix the clay so, I could use it for future work. I am going to trash the one that I did the sculpture with, but I have more.
Thanks again,
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Old 12-30-2006, 12:21 AM
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Re: Can I fix the clay?

If you are trying to make the clay less prone to cracking while drying you need to add some toothier grained componants to the clay. If you have the ingredient available try wedging in a small amount of fine or medium grog. If this clay is for handbuilding only go with medium grog if you use it for wheel throwing go with fine grog.

If you don't have grog available dry your work slower and hollow it out when it just reaches leatherhard stage, the drier you let it get before hollowing the larger chance it will crack or crumble. Always dry it it under plastic out of the sun. good luck.
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Old 12-30-2006, 02:12 AM
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Artbynan Artbynan is offline
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Re: Can I fix the clay?

Quote:
Originally Posted by beautifulfreak
If you are trying to make the clay less prone to cracking while drying you need to add some toothier grained componants to the clay. If you have the ingredient available try wedging in a small amount of fine or medium grog. If this clay is for handbuilding only go with medium grog if you use it for wheel throwing go with fine grog.

If you don't have grog available dry your work slower and hollow it out when it just reaches leatherhard stage, the drier you let it get before hollowing the larger chance it will crack or crumble. Always dry it it under plastic out of the sun. good luck.

Hi,
I didn't know about the grog, I will try and see if it' available here. If not I just wait until I go back to the States and see if I can bring some.
Thanks for the nice sugestion and advice. I really appreciate it.
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Old 12-30-2006, 08:25 AM
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Andi @ Cirrutopia Andi @ Cirrutopia is offline
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Cool Re: Can I fix the clay?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Artbynan
Hi,
I didn't know about the grog, I will try and see if it' available here. If not I just wait until I go back to the States and see if I can bring some.
Thanks for the nice sugestion and advice. I really appreciate it.

I was watching a video recently which said grog is/can be finely ground bisqueware? Do you have a hammer and some ugly vases?
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Old 12-31-2006, 12:00 AM
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Re: Can I fix the clay?

Yes, grog is pulverized fired clay. Make sure if you decide to make some that the fired clay body you use is a high firinging clay body so it will not melt in the kiln. If you have access to a ball mill this will make the job of pulverizing your fired clay easier. Making grog by hand is very tedious work.
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Old 12-31-2006, 01:47 PM
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Re: Can I fix the clay?

Thank you Guys,
I will try to get my anger out in some plates!!!
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