Paper Clay: The Experimenter's Medium

Learn about a new modelling medium that's exciting artists today

Creativity 3 min read Sep 25, 2019
Paper Clay: The Experimenter's Medium

Where material ends, art begins. This couldn’t be more true in the case of paper clay. When blended, mud, paper, and water cease to exist as mere materials anymore — they become paper clay, and begin to offer a world of possibilities.

Paper clay can change ceramic sculpting as we know it. What is paper clay, you say? Why, it’s clay mixed with paper fibres. This combination makes paper clay a remarkably flexible and strong medium to work with, and enables you to create complex, detailed structures at any stage of the creative process, even after drying and firing! One could even achieve a form that is delicate, translucent and paper-like, but still with the sturdiness of clay. Many ceramicists today say that it is perhaps the most versatile medium they have ever used, because the highly workable medium allows for expressive freedom and imagination.

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Paperclay is for the experimenter and new users of the material quickly discover how easy it is to handle and master. Beginning and skilled artists who are looking for new ways of creative expression will be inclined to exploit the paper-like qualities of this creative medium.

As an introduction to the possibilities of this material, Matokie Clay Studio, a home-based ceramics studio in West Preston, is holding a full day workshop all about exploring the methods of sculpting and hand building using the very versatile paper clay. Artist Felicity Law will demonstrate the use of toilet paper as an additive to clay bodies like porcelain and terracotta to make paper clay, and then teach techniques to construct beautiful, large, and complex forms using it.