What To Do With Those Little Scraps Of Left Over Porcelain Clay

Click photos to enlarge
Supplies and instructions:
  • Hattie Sanderson Texture Pad  (a rubber texture mat, approximately 4 inches x 8 inches)
  • Playing Cards
  • Scraps of porcelain clay
  • Drinking straws to pierce holes
  • Damp cloth to keep clay moist
  • An old sheet or pillow case for rolling
    and drying clay (sheeting is usually lint free)
  • A (light weight) magazine
  • Tiny Cutters
  • After you are finished with your clay project, you most likely will have some small scraps of porcelain clay left over.
  • If you will keep your porcelain clay scraps damp, you can make some really unique porcelain jewelry.
  • For this project I used porcelain clay about the size of a golf ball, because I wanted to utilize the entire Texture Pad/shaper. To get the right thickness of clay, you will need two stacks of playing cards, with two cards in each stack. Flatten the clay in the palm of your hand and lay it between the 2 stacks of cards. Gently roll flat.
  • Set cards aside. Using one of Hattie Sandersons PMC Clay Shapers either roll or finger-press the shaper into clay.
  • Carefully lift the shaper from the clay and set the shaper aside. If the clay sticks to the shaper it means the clay is a tad to damp. Re-roll the clay in the palm of your hand and try again.
Hattie Sanderson Texture Pad
Porcelain Clay
  • Using straws and a sharp scalpel, cut out desired design(s) from thinly rolled porcelain clay;
  • With a damp, soft bristle, brush or a damp sponge carefully clean edges and holes, being very careful not to distort the clay or the integrity of the designs.
  • Cover clay with pillow case/sheet and allow to dry for several days.
  • Note: I place an old pillow case over my clay pieces and then lay a (light weight, like the China Decorator) magazine on top of the pillow case to prevent the edges from curling during the drying process.

Porcelain Clay
  • After drying several days, prepare kiln and shelves for porcelain bisque firing.
  • Lay porcelain green ware flat on prepared shelf, sprinkle silica powder/sand on top of green ware, apply thicker around the green ware edges, to prevent the pieces from warping during the high fire.

  • Fire according to the porcelain clay manufacturer recommendation.   Normally porcelain clay is fired to a true cone 6.
    • Digital kilns: low heat to cone 6, hold 15 minutes.
    • Manual kilns: use cone 7 in the sitter and fire 1 hr low, 5 hrs medium and go to high.

  • Scrub bisque with stiff brush and sudsy water to remove all traces of silica. Set aside to dry.
  • Prepare bisque for glazing by suspending pieces with Kemper high fire wire, glaze both sides. Bisque can be quickly dipped into thinned glaze or glaze can applied with a brush.
  • Make sure the holes do not have glaze in them. The wire will become embedded in the glaze, and can be very difficult to remove. I slide the wire back and forth through the hole a few times to make sure the hole is clean, sorta like flossing your teeth).
    There should be NO glaze on the wire or inside the holes.
  • Fire according to directions on your particular glaze bottle.

Additional Notes:
This photo shows the wire still attached to the glazed bisque. I will leave the wire attached until the 14K gold firings are finished. Don't throw the wire away, it can be used over and over.

Do not use the wire when you bisque fire to cone 6. It can cut thru the porcelain during the high fire stage.

Apply 14K Gold, Silver and fire.
Dichroic cabs can be fused to the porcelain by adhering with raised base for gold and re-firing to cone 019, or you can skip the extra firing and use E6000.


I used AAA Grade Zirconias in the centers of the flowers. AAA grade is a higher quality glass and can withstand the heat, making it fusible!  I used a dot of raised base for gold in the throat of each flower and placed the Zirconia into the paste and fired to cone 019 along with the cab. Fire SLOW and cool completely before you open the kiln!
 

To make these pieces with Precious Metal Clay (PMC) you could easily spend $200 in PMC alone.

I made these pieces from Porcelain Clay for about $10 (porcelain clay, 4 firings, glaze, and gold)

The cranberry cabs were substituted with clear/pink cabs. I was unable to capture the Dichroic affect with my camera, but they are stunning.
 
Feel free to email me if you have any questions