What is paperclay ?

Paperclay (or terre-papier in french) is a modeling mass.

This composite material is a mixture of clay and paper pulp composed of free cellulose fibers.
The most common paper's fibers are 1 to 3 mm long and their cross section is about 0,03 mm.

Why adding fibers to clay ?

Fibers improve qualities of normal clay : the modeling mass and the green ware are stronger. This way, modeling becomes more creative.
Paperclay does not crack easily and is useful for repairs.
Paper burns out by firing and creates a microporous structure absorbing thermal shocks.

close-up of cellulose fibers

How employing paperclay ?

glazed porcelain container fired by 1 280°C

Firing :

Paperclay can be used for sculptural ceramics, you can create large, thin and high pieces, and also use it for more traditional works.
Because technical constraints are reduced, paperclay allows more freedom and develops creativity.
You can join elements wet to wet, wet to dry or dry to dry.
All type of firing clay can be applied, especially one-fire glazing and raku.

antelope : wire, paperclay and patinas. No firing

No firing :

Paperclay is a modeling and a filling mass for decoration, art and design that becomes very strong after drying. It can be used for covering armatures and for mixed medias.
Pieces created with paperclay are light, transportable and recyclable.
You can also apply paints, varnishes or patinas on dry paperclay surfaces.

Liliane Tardio-Brise - terrepapier.com - All rights reserved - 11/06/2016