Friday, September 22, 2017
Making a Paperweight on the Potter's Wheel.
Calvatia gigantea mushrooms they are not, but they are a parade of freshly made paperweights. These are *porcelain, and I thought you might be interested to see how such things grow on the potter's wheel, so I took some photos this afternoon as I made one.
I did not weigh the paperweights as I made them, but I checked afterwards, and they range from just over 200 g to 400 g (0.44 lb - 0.88 lb).
After making the paperweights I measured the bottom of each one and made a matching ring of clay for them. The paperweights with have crystalline glazes which are very runny at hight temperatures, so they need to stand on a ring of porcelain in the middle of a shallow bowl in which to catch run off glaze.
* Porcelain is usually made from a blend of Kaolin (China Clay), Feldspar, Silica and something to make it workable on the potter's wheel such as a small quantity of bentonite or ball clay. Most Kaolin type clays are difficult to work with unless they are blended with something else. Porcelain fired to maturity will be vitrified, strong and translucent where thin.
**You can do it! In 2012 I posted a short video of centring a large lump of clay, you might like to take a look at it if you want to see how this can be done