Investigation of casting slip in conjunction with wire and paper armatures
The focus of this research has been to further my understanding of casting slip (liquefied clay) concerning its properties, construction methods, as well as investigations into the possibilities of the fired casting slip surfaces. The main objective of the research is to formulate a casting slip that could be used for its whiteness and thinness as well as maintain a level of strength. I began by experimenting with different formulations of casting slip. By testing combinations of different percentages of raw clay components, certain qualities can be amplified. An investigation of various papers, wire, and wax for surface development began in hopes of finding additional creative opportunities. Tea bag paper, as well as rice paper is utilized to construct armatures onto which the casting slip is applied. By brushing casting slip on the surface of the paper I am able to ascertain how much slip would crack and fall off prior to firing, which would also indicate whether the work would survive a kiln firing. Firing samples of wire at various temperatures tests the wires durability and level of heat resistance. These casting slips are based on porcelain clay bodies, which are white upon being kiln-fired. Depending on the specific ingredients in these clay bodies, it will determine the quality of white (chalk white, creamy white, etc.). A casting slip was formulated, which fired to a cool white; the surface of the clay also has a slight sheen. The tea bag paper as of yet is still the best choice for my process of construction. The nickel chromium wire withstood the highest temperatures and provided the greatest amount of support during the kiln firing. Since testing these elements, an investigation into the surface of the casting slip began.